SPS: Mental Health Concerns Increase

School Social Work

mental health concerns“Mental Health and Schools: The Impact of School Social Workers” was written by School Social Work committee members Robert Lucio, PhD, Ken Rautiola, LCSW, NCSSW, LCSW, and Emilie Souhrada, MSW, LISW. It appears in the latest Section Connection newsletter.

Over the past several years, young people in the United States have experienced an increase in mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation, the authors say. Since 2016, this group has seen a 29 percent increase in anxiety and a 27 percent increase in depression. Further, when it comes to suicide-related factors, every indicator has gotten worse.

The percentage of high school students who had experienced persistent feelings of sadness went from 28 percent in 2011 to 42 percent in 2021.

The authors note that almost half of school staff members have reported increased depression and anxiety, and distress was found to be highest among teachers when compared with other K-12 professions.

This issue has led to increases in burnout, stress, mental health concerns, and even staff shortages across the country.

The article includes a list of the many ways people can advocate for school social work services, including through advocacy, training and funding.

cover of winter 2024 issue

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