Teenagers, mental health care professionals, and crisis response volunteers are reaching out to state and federal leaders to ensure young people have more culturally appropriate access to mental health care and what services exist. He said there is a need for better communication about
Addressing these two issues would go a long way in combating the mental health crisis among young people growing up in the wake of the pandemic, he told Gov. Tina Kotek and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra.
The group met Monday afternoon at the Fabion School in northeast Portland to discuss the mental health issues facing students and the resources available through state and federal funding. The K-8 school was also attended by representatives from Portland Public Schools and the new Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health at the University of Oregon. The institute was established to address the shortage of mental health care professionals by placing her first class of 200 undergraduates at Portland Public Schools as interns in the fall of 2023. rice field.
A 2020 survey of nearly one-third of Oregon students by the Oregon Department of Health and the Oregon Department of Education found that nearly half have felt sad or hopeless for more than two weeks .A report published in August Annie E. Casey Foundation The number of children in Oregon suffering from mental health problems has increased from 11% in 2016 to 16% in 2020.
Jaiyana Jones, an eighth grader at Faubion, said during a roundtable discussion that COVID and social media have increased the mental health impacts of students in recent years. She said people who don’t feel comfortable talking to counselors and school staff turn to substance abuse instead. They say the number one reason they call is the lack of an adult to help them.
“That’s one of the biggest problems, it’s that you don’t feel comfortable reaching out to someone,” says Vemulapalli.
As a black student, Jones said having more black counselors and mental health staff would help.
Jeida Dezurny, a member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians and youth representative for the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, said there is a generational and cultural disconnect to mental health services among many Native American youth. I was. With no more native mental health care providers, Desunby and her colleagues traveled from all walks of life to talk to young people about suicide, opioids, mental health, sex, and other topics they might find offensive. The focus is on training native adults from.Discussion.
“We are beginning to teach caring adults, educators, parents and community members,” she said, asking them: We know that you probably have never dealt with this problem before in your life. That’s fine. We will get through it and educate you. ”
To address the nationwide shortage of school counselors, psychologists and social workers, Becerra said the Federal Office of Social Services will help fund graduate studies for those who want to become mental health care professionals. He said he plans to start a scholarship program. In exchange, they should be devoted to her three to four years of work on site.
Becerra also advertised federal investments. 988 Lifelines of Suicide and Crisis Launched in July, the service connects callers and text messagers with trained counselors who help people in crisis. Becerra said the Biden administration has invested his $500 million in two years to install lines across the country, but states will need to provide their own funding to keep the service running.
“For the young people in this space, I think it will be a big challenge to convince your state leaders because there are only a few states that actually offer a steady flow of money right now. To maintain a lifeline,” he said.
In Oregon, Lines for Life oversees services, except in Marion and Polk counties, which are served by Northwest Human Services.Kotec’s budget proposal An additional charge of 40 cents per cell line is included for future maintenance of 988 Lifeline.
Congress is considering several bills to target the mental health care workforce shortage and improve access to mental health care in schools.
two bills, House Bill 2485 and House Bill 3274Portland State University and Southern Oregon University should educate and graduate more public mental health and addiction treatment providers in the next five years. House Bill 2636 Every school district should have mental health professionals and nurses in every school.
In 2019, the state allocated more than $1 billion to the Student Success Act to help pay for mental health care in schools. In addition, Oregon received millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan during the pandemic, and was directed to spend some of it on mental health staff and programs.