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Dell Rapids School District addressing mental health in schools

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 11:02 PM CST
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Dell Rapids, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -During the pandemic, many have struggled with mental health around the country, and right here in South Dakota.

The Dell Rapids School District decided to meet the problem head-on as they partnered with the Cook Center for Human Connection to hold a virtual meeting Wednesday night to better equip teachers and parents with resources.

Dell Rapids School District Superintendent Summer Schultz talked about the struggles parents have had to face over the last year; “parenting is hard, parenting during a pandemic is even harder. Tonight is really geared towards parents and teachers to be able to feel like they have another place they can go when they are seeing some of these things.”

Being back in schools has helped many struggling students, but many are still facing challenges.

“South Dakota students are fortunate that they were back in school this fall but we also know they spent a tremendous amount of time in spring and summer in unique environments with isolation and not being in school where they had some normalcy,” says Schultz.

A big part of the virtual meeting was to raise awareness of some of the mental health issues children are currently facing after many had to face isolation, they were unprepared for.

Michele Bartsch, director of programs for the Cook Center, says “The numbers actually have been going up since 2007 as far as the suicide rate but currently 20 children a day die from suicide and 500 a day attempt suicide.”

The meeting included a section where parents and teachers could ask questions to a certified therapist finding out ways, they can help others overcome mental illnesses. The main resource parents and teachers were directed to is a website called parentguidance.org.

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