College of Psychology: Faculty Articles


The ABC's Of Children's Mental Health

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2002


Adjustment (To Environment), Elementary Secondary Education, Mental Disorders, Mental Health, Mental Health Programs, School Responsibility, Student Needs, Wellness

Publication Title

Here's How








The U.S. Surgeon General's 2000 Report on Children's Mental Health estimates that one in five children and adolescents will experience a significant mental-health problem during their school years. While the family is the primary source of support for a child's mental health, the increased stress and fracturing of today's life make it imperative that schools work with parents. With the help of school-based mental-health professionals, principals can develop and initiate a number of strategies designed to protect children by establishing their long-term capacity for positive behavior, social competency, academic achievement, and emotional well-being. Such strategies include fostering a sense of belonging, helping children adapt to change, accentuating the positive, and strengthening children's resiliency. A list of disorder symptoms is presented so educators can contact a mental-health professional should these signs occur. It is recommended that educators educate themselves on types and symptoms of mental-health problems, develop procedures for addressing potential problems, and'utilize community Mental-health resources and provide their names and numbers to parents. The brief concludes with one principal's description of her proactive approach to promoting students' psychological well-being, "You Do Whatever It Takes" (DeLanna Lacy). (RT)

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