State opens free online training for teachers and parents – The 74

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The Oregon Department of Education launched self-guided online classes for adults this week to help them address mental health issues among students.

The program called WISE, or Well-Being Information and Strategies for Educators, includes sessions for specific groups: teachers, other school staff, and parents and guardians. The program is free and each group receives six modules with several video lessons and orientation texts.

Lessons for parents and guardians include identifying distress in young people, teaching responsible decision-making, debunking the mind, and de-escalation strategies.

The classes are part of a national WISE program developed in 2018 by the National Center for School Mental Health and several partners. The goal of state and national programs is to help adults better support students struggling with mental health issues. The sessions also help augment limited mental health resources in schools and the community by training adults who are not mental health professionals.

For years, Oregon has faced a shortage of behavioral health workers, according to the Oregon Health Authority and experts in the field. The state has consistently ranked in national surveys at or near the bottom in access to mental health care.

A 2020 audit of the Oregon Secretary of State’s office found that systemic issues in the state’s mental health treatment system had created a crisis among children and their families. Oregon’s behavioral health system for children has only gotten worse during the pandemic. The Capital Chronicle detailed some of the issues late last year.

The state legislature has allocated millions of dollars to strengthen the system for adults and children, but the money has been slow to come out.

Oregon is not the only state with a weak mental health support system for children. In 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics declared a national child and youth mental health emergency.

Oregon’s WISE program is funded as part of a $5.5 million state initiative to strengthen literacy and mental health support in schools, according to the Department of Education’s website. ‘Education. According to the Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, up to 70% of students nationwide receive mental health care at school.

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