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Policy & Politics
Many children face daily struggles with mental health, and schools are often on the front lines in helping them deal with it. Side Effects examines what responsibility schools have in this fight, and what counselors, teachers and administrators are doing to address this quiet crisis. Have a story idea? Email health@wfyi.org

Does Mental Health Care Belong In Schools? A Conversation

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This week Indiana Public Broadcasting's All IN hosted a discussion on mental health in schools. The show was in parternship with Side Effects Public Media.

Side Effects' Carter Barrett discussed her reporting on Indiana's push to bring mental health services into schools -- a fight sparked by two school shooting attempts. 

Program guests included Hamilton Southeastern Schools Mental Health Coordinator Brooke Lawson and Indiana State Sen. Michael Crider. They discussed how schools use third-party providers to bridge the gap between students and treatment. Crider also talked about the future for legislation. 

"We had a ... I had a really difficult path with my legislation, this last session, a lot of kind of outside forces pushing and pulling on it," Crider said. The measure broadens the use of certain state funds, but would not fund a school to set up agreements with outside providers. 

CareSource President Steve Smitherman also talked about rural schools using telehealth to connect students with treatment. This technology is useful in areas where providers may be limited or nonexistent.

"We need to ... be creative in getting them the resources that they need," Smitherman said. "Our goal, hopefully, is to get this in every single rural school across the state of Indiana over time, if it's successful." 

Side Effects has launched a series on mental health in schools. Read the rest of the stories here.