State Education Officials Seek to Accelerate Addition of 10K School Counselors

Faced with a shortage of mental health counselors in schools, the state Department of Education is seeking to bring 10,000 more professionals to campuses at a time when federal public health officials are calling for action to address the growing youth mental health crisis in the country.

The adviser’s effort, which requires legislative approval, would aim to attract clinicians to schools through loan cancellations and deferrals, scholarships to offset education costs and potentially reduce the time needed for clinicians. in mental health to obtain a license, superintendent. of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said Wednesday during a visit to Washington Preparatory High School in South Los Angeles. Thurmond said he was in talks with lawmakers and hopes a measure, expected to cost $250 million, can be introduced in the coming weeks.

“I don’t see anything more important right now in terms of dealing with the trauma that students and families have experienced,” Thurmond said. “But the reality is there is a shortage, there just aren’t enough counselors in many schools and many communities, urban, suburban, rural.”

For years, educators have warned of a shortage of mental health professionals. A 2018 report by researchers at the UCSF Healthforce Center found that if current trends continue, by 2028 the state would have 41% fewer psychiatrists than needed and 11% fewer psychologists, professional clinical counselors fewer licensed and licensed clinical social workers than needed to meet state health needs.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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