School psychologists at two Pacific Northwest largest school districts reach out to the KGW for National School Psychology week, which is taking placing November 8-12.
School Psychologists – Kids Are in Need of Mental Health Help
They not only want to raise awareness of what they do, but they also shared what they’ve been seeing in schools this year and more kids need mental health help.
Mix of Emotions
There was a mix of emotions when the educational institution year did start. Therefore, it will come off of isolation from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some parents, their kids, and teachers did feel excited about the return of in-person learning. In fact, were, others were anxious. School psychologists have said that all the instability which is associated with the pandemic has contributed to a difficult environment.
“Last year was difficult but this year feels harder,” said Karley Strouse. Strouse is a bilingual school psychologist for Salem-Keizer Public Schools. She is also the president-elect of the Oregon School Psychologists Association.
“Also, I’m seeing what is an uptick in the need for behavior support plans for students,” Calley Ekberg said. Ekberg is an educational instituion psychologist in the Portland Public School District and is the current president of the Oregon School Psychologists Association.
Disruptive behaviors happening in schools are running the gamut, they said.
Goofing Off and Disruptive Environment
“Goofing off in class and making it a disruptive environment is acting out. It makes it rough for learning from others. There could be a lot of different things. Moreover, there would be more physical aggression,” said Ekberg.
“Being physical towards staff, in some of the most extreme cases, the students do know. The extreme cases include biting, kicking, scratching also unsafe behaviors like fleeting from the campus. Then climbing things that they shouldn’t be climbing,” Strouse explained.
The KGW, back in 2019, investigated classrooms in crisis. This becomes a series of where the KGW has heard from educators, plus bus drivers and parents about students needing help and acting out.