National Association of School Psychologists Issues Call to Action

Kelly Vaillancourt, PhD, NCSP
Director of Government Relations, National Association of School Psychologists

Recently on Care for Your Mind, Dr. Anne Marie Albano contended that schools are the right place for kids to get treatment for social anxiety disorder. Today, Kelly Vaillancourt of the National Association of School Psychologists offers an easy way for you to advocate for school-based psychological services.

In order to make meaningful and substantial progress toward increasing access to comprehensive mental health services, we must call upon our local, state, and federal policy makers to act. We need to

  • educate legislators and government officials about evidence-based policies and practices
  • encourage them to allocate the necessary funding to ensure these practices are in places in our schools and communities.

The National Association of School Psychologists is proud to be a partner in this effort. NASP represents over 25,000 school psychologists who work with students, educators, administrators, and families to support the academic achievement, positive behavior, and mental health of all students, especially those who struggle with barriers to learning. Part of our mission includes advocating for public policies that support increased access to school-employed mental health professionals (e.g school psychologists, school social workers, and school counselors) who can provide a full continuum of mental health services to students, as well as collaborate with community professionals who help support students with the most significant mental health needs.

Your voice is critical in helping ensure that all children, youth, and adults have access to the mental and behavioral health services they need and there are many quick and easy ways that you can be an effective advocate. One is to visit the NASP Advocacy Action Center to send letters to your elected officials in Congress, asking them to support public policies and funding for improved access to school based mental health services. These letters are pre-written, but can be edited by you. In less than one minute, you can make your voice heard on Capitol Hill.

Questions

  • How can we increase the availability of comprehensive school psychological services?
  • What messages do you think will be most effective in getting legislators to increase funding for school-based psychological services?
  • In what ways have you found school-based psychological services helpful for students you know?

Facebook Comments

2 comments
avalaurie86
avalaurie86

I think this is a great thing to ask of the states. There are so many kids out there that have trouble learning ans paying attention. I myself have a bit of ADD, but i didn't figure that out until I was in college. I was surprised how much better I took in information when I started getting treatments for it.  http://www.sojo.ca

civitJ
civitJ

For many students, the only psychological support they can access is through their school environment. There are many reasons families are resistant to receiving outside support but some reasons I see most often include: lack of insurance or financial resources, varying cultural beliefs in therapy and parents in disagreement with support necessary for their child to thrive.  It is a daily issue when working in a large high school and it IS a problem.  I work in a school of 2400 students with only two psychologists and two social workers.  We conducted 115 safety assessments just last year which has quadrupled in the past three years.  Federal funding continues to put cuts to mental health programs and it is greatly impacting our students.  Unfortunately, even though the acuity of student needs and amount of students needing support has significantly increased, the psychological support provided in schools has not increased at all.  It is our students that suffer by not having sufficient support.  Additionally, it is greatly impacting the role as a School Psychologist.