For too many children, the interrelationship between mental health problems and poor academic outcomes is reflected in limited educational progress from their entry into school through their secondary school years.Difficulties emerge early, with rates for expulsion from pre-school exceeding those of children in Grades 1-12, according to a national study conducted by the Yale Child Study Center. The same study notes that Connecticut had one of the highest rates of expulsion from state-funded preschool, with more than 10 students expelled per 1000.
All of the adolescents in the sample had evidence of significant behavioral and/or mental health problems and 51% had or were at-risk of court-involvement, juvenile justice intervention, or through court referral for families with service needs. Multiple school suspensions, aggressive incidents, and explosive or disruptive behavior were common (82%). Depression (25%), anxiety disorders (20%), post-traumatic stress disorders (17%), suicidal and self-injurious behaviors (16%) were evident as well, with 17% of students documented as having been hospitalized in psychiatric settings, some for multiple times or for extended periods. Twelve per cent of records contained reports of physical, emotional, or sexual child abuse.
… those developmental, genetic, physical, or health issues that may place children at risk of mental health issues in childhood or adolescence. Examples include prenatal exposure to drugs, history of lead poisoning, sickle cell anemia and history of head trauma. There is evidence that a number of other chronic health conditions, such as asthma, ear infections and other medical conditions impact not only school success, but also appear to have a complicated relationships to psychosocial and mental health status…
… interrupted schooling, parental loss/incarceration, homelessness, foster placements, exposure to domestic violence, abuse, and other traumatic experiences.
• Improve referral to early intervention services (mental health and special education)• Improve collaboration between service providers• Improve community and parent education about risk factors and support available• Improve training and accountability for school staff and other providers