NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ787286
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6439
A Call to Arms: Children's Mental Health
Sherman, Morton
School Administrator, v65 n1 p26-29 Jan 2008
The author, a superintendent of schools, discusses a rising tide of social and emotional needs among school children as educators struggle with the issue of whether to deal with students' mental health issues. Readers are asked to consider this statement from "Children's Mental Health: Developing a National Action Agenda," a report prepared by the Department of Health and Human Services as an outgrowth of the "Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health" in September 2000: "The nation is facing a public crisis in mental health for infants, children and adolescents. ...In the United States, one in 10 children and adolescents suffer from mental illness severe enough to cause some level of impairment. Yet, in any given year, it is estimated that about one in five such children receive mental health services. Unmet need for services remains as high now as it was 20 years ago. Recent evidence compiled by the World Health Organization indicates that by the year 2020, childhood neuropsychiatric disorders will rise proportionately by over 50 percent, internationally, to become one of the five most common causes of morbidity, mortality and disability among children." In light of this information, the author suggests 4 steps educators and communities can take in order to accept the responsibility for these growing needs, and focus on ways to best address them. They are: (1) Acknowledgment of the existence of the mental health needs of our students; (2) Professional development for all staff in two general areas -- creating positive mental health environments and programs and understanding mental illnesses for the purpose of intervention and referral; (3) Stopping the stigmas and other barriers that keep us from having a candid and honest conversation about children's mental health; and (4) Either personally adopting a leadership role or creating systems that encourage positive professional conversations about mental health.
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A