A tip to manage anxiety and depression in schools: communicate

Local News

KX News gets a lot of messages from viewers telling us about events or issues.

One message, in particular, stuck out to us.

It’s about how schools can help students cope with anxiety or depression.

A parent wrote with concerns following an incident when his daughter had a panic attack at school and he felt the school’s response could’ve been better.

KX News sat down with principal Harlan Johnson at Central Campus High School to see what sort of procedures are implemented there.

He said, “You can’t have a blanket for every student because we’re all individuals and we need to work with those kids so that way we can find out what’s going on, help them get back on track so that they’re getting the help that they need and we’re getting them back into the classroom so that we’re getting that educational component for what we’re here for.”

Johnson said he has noticed in recent years that more and more students are struggling with anxiety or depression.

That’s why the school district participates in social-emotional training every year as well as implementing a student-run program called Sources of Strength.

The goal is to make sure that there is at least one person in the school, staff or peer, that a student can feel comfortable going to.

Beyond school walls, though, he said the most helpful thing is keeping an open line of communication between parents and administration so that there as many eyes and ears on a student as possible.

“Our teachers, a lot of times, are calling down, stepping down to the counselor’s office saying ‘hey, I’m noticing something’s up with Johnny, what’s going on here?'” Johnson said. “They do that because they’re in tune with those things, they notice when different things come up.”

There are only three counselors at Central Campus and more than 1,000 students.
It may not always be possible, but if the school has the ability to establish a safety net between parent, student, and staff, that is the best bet to make sure a student can stay on track.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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