The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the mental health challenges many people are facing throughout our community. The needs are broad and have only grown as families have navigated virtual school, social isolation, health fears and economic uncertainty.
In response to those needs, the Bold Goals Coalition recently convened school district mental health coordinators from across the Central Alabama region to explore potential areas where the Coalition could stand in the gaps to fortify mental health services for students in their respective districts.
Facilitated by Dr. Melissa Shields, Regional Academic Coordinator for the Alabama State Department of Education and Co-Chair for Bold Goals Education, area coordinators shared insights to successes and barriers to providing adequate mental health services to students. During the meeting, group members reflected on the implications of COVID-19 on the mental health of students and their families, as well as the continued need for community-wide mental health awareness, social-emotional learning, mental health screening tools and preventative support services.
Through these conversations, the Coalition is exploring strategies for strengthening the connection between community partners and mental health providers, with the goal of ensuring the mental health needs of all students are addressed so that they are ready to learn and thrive.
This group of mental health professionals has assumed a critically important role at the intersection of students’ health and educational success. We are excited to find ways to partner with mental health coordinators and their school districts in working together to support our students.
The Bold Goals Coalition is 200 organizations solving big community problems by aligning partners, resources and agendas.