by Photo by Sarah Berjan

The Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) discussed two items surrounding mental health services at a Nov. 8 meeting to further support students who underwent months of social isolation during the pandemic.

South Bay Community Services (SBCS) has collaborated with the SUHSD on the After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens (ASSETs) program to reflect additional support services from an added funding stream to supplement the program.

Schools have seen an increase in behavioral and psychological issues on campus stemming from, among other causes, a recent lack of socialization, family and housing instability, and attendance stability due directly to COVID. 

“I do understand that there is a lot of need. Especially now as we come back from a year and a half of a shut down and the impact that it’s had in our families, students and staff,” Board member Paula Hall said.  

The district saw a need for additional resources and programming to successfully navigate this traditional year having students return to before and after-school programming at 14 SUHSD campuses.  

This partnership with SBCS will provide enhanced training for community assessment, children’s mental health and here-now skills and philosophies to allow for staff to more efficiently screen for service needs. There will be enhanced collaboration to allow for more efficient referral and on-boarding.

Schools were selected based on the need of specific mental health concerns, such as suicide, in order to provide supplemental mental health services. 

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