NYC Public Schools Providing Students With More Access To Mental Health Support, Screenings

Mental health support has proven vital during the pandemic, and now New York City students will have access to more support and screenings in the future; CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas reports.

Video Transcript

- Mental health support has proven vital during this pandemic and now New York City students will have access to more support and screenings in the future CBS 2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas outlines the new program.

AUNDREA CLINE-THOMAS: As New York City Public Schools hope all students return in person this fall, it's also preparing to address the pandemic's widespread impact.

- This is one of the worst things that will ever happen for the children.

AUNDREA CLINE-THOMAS: Like so many children, initially, Travis Spencer-Coye's six-year-old had a hard time adjusting to the new normal.

TRAVIS SPENCER-COYE: She would go from everything was fine to everything is terrible and she's not going to see her friends again or her family again.

AUNDREA CLINE-THOMAS: He says returning to school in person helped. But in September, most public school students will be entering a classroom for the first time in 18 months.

CHIRLANE MCCRAY: Some will be grieving. Some will be excited to see classmates again.

AUNDREA CLINE-THOMAS: That's why next school year, every student will undergo a mental health screening. And the Department of Education is hiring more than 600 social workers, psychologists, and family support workers, giving every school access to additional resources.

MEISHA ROSS PORTER: This means educators will have someone they can work with to help provide the help young people need in schools.

AUNDREA CLINE-THOMAS: The Department of Education is also providing extra training to teachers and staff on how to recognize trauma and other issues students are dealing with. It's all being made possible because of extra funding from the federal government.

TRAVIS SPENCER-COYE: As much as parents can try, I'm not a trained professional at it. So I'd like to get that input and have that engagement with her from the school.

AUNDREA CLINE-THOMAS: From starting class with meditation, even for the youngest students, to informal teacher check-ins, wellness is no longer an added bonus. It's central to the curriculum after a devastating year. Aundrea Cline-Thomas, CBS 2 News.