Kids’ mental health crisis is at a critical point, Education Secretary Cardona says – NPR

The Education Department wants to revamp mental health access for students and awareness in schools. NPR’s Scott Detrow talks to Secretary Miguel Cardona about the guidance.

SCOTT DETROW, HOST:

The Department of Education knows it has a big problem on its hands. Many children in America have been struggling with mental health, and the pandemic has made things much worse.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona says schools need to make changes now to help students.

MIGUEL CARDONA: Before the pandemic, about 13% to 22% of school-age youth experienced some mental health challenge. Now researchers estimate that that number is up to 80%. Students have experienced a lot – not only isolation away from their peers, but sadly in many cases loss of work for family members or loss of life in their families. So our students are in great need right now.

DETROW: The Department of Education is releasing new guidance, out today, meant to give schools tips and tools to better help students. It also serves as a guide in part to how districts could use extra pandemic relief funding. It calls for many things, including hiring more specialized staff, like school social workers and psychologists, and even doing away
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