May 22, 2024
mental health SLO county schools

Are local high schools adequately addressing mental health?

San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury releases report

– The San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury chose to look at how well high schools in San Luis Obispo County are doing at addressing mental health, including looking at resources available, resources needed, referrals processes, and best practices. Within the scope of the investigation of selected high schools, it found that “all the schools are actively addressing student mental health needs.”

This investigation “has revealed a remarkable effort on behalf of San Luis Obispo County high schools in their assessment of the mental health needs of its high school students,” according to the grand jury. However, “while many programs and services are in place at each high school, along with the necessary resources to address the issues associated with the mental health challenges of the county’s high school students, more work can still be done.”

“Our schoolteachers, counselors, therapists, staff, and administrators have many hats to wear in today’s schools. Our appreciation goes out to these individuals who not only provide academic learning but also do so much more to keep our children safe and mentally healthy.”

In its report, the grand jury commended schools that have established wellness centers, employed a full staff of counselors, maintained a school resource officer present on campus for five days each week, implemented anonymous reporting systems for bullying incidents, and conducted regular staff training on mental health matters.

According to the report, the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education should devise a plan to assist local schools in securing grants for wellness centers similar to the one at Shandon High. Furthermore, there is potential for the expansion of mental health courses and substance abuse programs.

The grand jury’s report also recommended that additional campus staff and teachers receive training to effectively address and identify mental health issues among young individuals.

See the full transcript of the report here.