Public schools in Oklahoma City strive to intends to unfold new plans for combating mental illness. Going by the name of Embrace OKC, it would require a budget of $5.5 million to implement them fully.
The main issues the plan is to address are depression, trauma, and substance abuse. The program will aim to assist struggling students in dealing with stressors in their lives. It won’t be capable of changing the difficulties they endure at home, but it would certainly provide some relief to these troubles. The plan also involves training teachers to recognize symptoms of mental and emotional problems.
Concerning Trends Among OKCPS Students
A problem motivates the push to implement this program that a recent survey highlighted. This survey interviewed some 7,000 students of OKCPS. Out of the questioned students, 361 of them admitted to having attempted suicide in the last twelve months, while 622 planned on committing suicide, according to this survey.
Meanwhile, half have stated that they experience high levels of psychological or emotional stress. The report elucidated that every fifth student felt like they were worth nothing, also citing a sense of hopelessness.
Children with mental issues become truants at a higher rate, and their grades are more likely to suffer, as previous studies concluded. This OKCPS program will make an effort to provide a helping hand to these students, giving them a chance to succeed academically.
A budget of $5.5 million would be necessary to accomplish the program’s goals effectively. The money would go toward hiring and funding additional social workers and counselors, facilitating training courses for teachers, and the like.
Dr. Sean McDaniel, a superintendent at OKCPS, said that the program would break the downward cycle of abuse and despair that so many students endure. The ideal objective, according to Dr. McDaniel, are happy and healthy students.
If community partners agree to bankroll the project, they will do so for four years. From there on, OKCPS would assume responsibility for financial expenses. Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse has also expressed supportive sentiments toward this program.