Group calls for better funding for mental health services in schools

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – The Mount Pleasant Youth Council is pushing for better mental health services in schools.

Graciana Cannon, a senior at Oceanside Collegiate Academy, addressed the Mount Pleasant Town Council on Monday.

“Most schools don’t have certified mental health professionals, they have guidance counselors who are usually preoccupied with college prep,” Cannon said.

The youth council says they are planning to send out a letter to the state legislative delegation this week. The Mount Pleasant Town Council has agreed to consign their letter.

The youth council is requesting funding from the state for certified mental health counselors in public schools. Cannon says having professionals in every school could help break the stigmatism of not talking about issues that teens face.

John Ikafano with the Mount Pleasant Town Council says he and the council will continue to have conversations with the Charleston County School District to see where the money is and how they can quickly make the money available to schools.

Ikafano also says it’s important that the students are stepping up and asking for what they need.

“I know peers of mine that do take anxiety medication. I do know many that just stress over not being able to be good enough or do good enough. So, letting you know they aren’t alone and they can talk about it,” Cannon said.

The youth council says schools need these services as soon as possible because many are suffering with no one to speak with.

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