Mentally healthy children are more successful in school and life, according to the National Association of School Psychologists. Good mental health is critical to children’s success in school and life. Research states that students who receive social–emotional and mental health support perform better academically. School climate, classroom behavior, on-task learning, and students’ sense of connectedness and well-being all improve as well.

Mental health is not simply the absence of mental illness but also encompasses social, emotional, and behavioral health and the ability to cope with life’s challenges. If mental health problems are not addressed, students may be impacted by negative outcomes such as academic and behavior problems, dropping out, and delinquency.

One-in-five children and adolescents experience a mental health problem during their school years, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Examples include stress, anxiety, bullying, family problems, depression, and alcohol and substance abuse. Serious mental health problems, such as self-injurious behaviors and suicide, are on the rise, particularly among teens. Estimates of up to 60 percent of students do not receive the treatment they need due to stigma and lack of access to services.

Mexico School District’s Mental Health Task force team, consisting of counselors, teachers, administrators, community members and nurses, began discussions in the summer of 2017 about supporting the social-emotional and mental health of students. This task force visited other schools and researched and attended informational meetings to gain knowledge.

After a year of planning, Mexico School District has entered in agreement with Arthur Center Community Health-Mexico to provide school-based services to the students in the district.

This partnership with the Arthur Center will allow students access to social-emotional and mental health support while they are at school. The Arthur Center is providing a therapist to work on-site at school buildings, as well as facilitating required insurance and billing paperwork. At this time, any student with state insurance (Medicaid) will be able to enroll and begin therapeutic services.

If you do not have insurance or state insurance, you can contact the Arthur Center, and they can provide support in either obtaining insurance or services at their clinic.

The school-based therapist will be working in each building across the district. This week the therapist will begin meeting students whose parent or guardian have been contacted by the school’s counselor. If you have not been contacted and are interested in services, please contact your student’s school counselor.

As Mexico Public School District continues the work to support the social-emotional and behavioral needs of the students, this partnership with the Arthur Center is another resource in helping to support our students and families.