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School Substance Abuse Counselors

Powerful Essays
If one thinks about the amount of time that students spend in school, it is a greater chunk of time than they spend at home. Students go to school to get an education, socialize with peers, and sometimes partake in extracurricular activities. Yet, what happens if a student is dealing with a mental illness or substance abuse? Is the school counselor able to take on the role that the students need? According to an article from the American School Counselor Association, “Research indicates that 20% of students are in need of mental health services, yet only one out of five of these students receive the necessary services” (“The Professional School Counselor and Mental Illness,” 2009 ; Kaffenberger & Seligman, 2007). Furthermore, thinking about the number of students in school and then every one-in-five, means there are tons of students that need more help. Though school counselors are not the top pick when it comes to thinking of professional help, they should be utilized for those students that do need help at school. They need someone to listen, help provide services, and let them know that everything is going to be okay. If students have a qualified professional there to help them, their life will improve exponentially. If there are children in school that need mental health counseling or substance abuse help, are the counselors going to be able to help them? What is the role of mental health and substance abuse counselors in schools? School Mental Health Counselors There are many children who are dealing with some form of mental crisis in their lives. They have to attend school for eight hours a day, which may be almost too much for them to handle. They may need someone to talk to or someone to help them understand what is goi... ... middle of paper ... ...l health needs: examining issues of professional identity. Professional School Counseling, 16(5), 271-282. Kaffenberger, C. J., & O'Rorke-Trigiani, J. (2013). Addressing student mental health needs by providing direct and indirect services and building alliances in the community. Professional School Counseling, 16(5), 323-332. Sikes, A., Cole, R. F., McBride, R., Fusco, A., & Lauka, J. (2009). Addressing the needs of substance abusing adolescents: a guide for professional school counselors. Journal of School Counseling, 7(43), Skalski, A., & Smith, M. (2006, September). Responding to the mental health needs of students. Principal Leadership, 12-15. The Professional School Counselor and Student Mental Health. (2009, January). School Counselor. Retrieved April 19, 2014, from http://www.schoolcounselor.org/asca/media/asca/PositionStatements/PS_StudentMentalHealth.pdf
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