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Mental health support from Coachella Valley schools after national tragedies

Mental health services have been top of mind for all Coachella Valley school districts this year as increased funding gives schools the ability to expand the support they provide. 

Read our previous coverage of how local school districts have worked to increase access to mental health services here

Mental health support looks different for every school but having an onsite presence remains top priority across the board as funding is being put to work. 

“Our goal this year is to have a licensed mental health professional at all our secondary sites. And we're getting really close to that. We didn't have that last year, at all of the secondary sites,” said SueAnn Martin, DSUSD, Mental Health Manager. 

Districts like CVUSD have made efforts to implement wellness centers at their schools. 

“...our goal is to eventually have wellness centers for each of our elementary schools..all of these mental health services that we offer to our students are long term initiatives and not something that goes away when funding is no longer available,” Lissette Santiago, CVUSD, Public Information Officer. 

Local mental health professionals say that anxiety from both internal and external struggles is the leading issue students are contending with. 

With 40 recorded mass shootings in the first three weeks of 2023, some say the need for mental health services in schools is more important than ever to help students process these tragic events. 

Valley school districts say they have the resources to provide additional support in light of these tragedies but students appear to be numb to the news. 

“Experience tells me that we will not see the true effect, specifically adolescents, until maybe a year or two post tragedies,” said Perry Myers, Student Assistance Program Counselor, DSUSD. 

Still, emotional regulation support will continue to be provided for students as they process these events. 

“It is important to have feelings, but what are they? Can you name them? What can bring it down? How can you regulate it? It’s kind of like turning the volume up and down whenever you're listening to the radio,” SueAnn Martin, DSUSD, Mental Health Manager.

The following are links to mental health services provided by each Coachella Valley school district: 

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Tatum Larsen

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