U.S. Department of Education Awards More Than $24.8 Million in Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Grants

The U.S. Department of Education awarded more than $24.8 million to 67 schools districts in 26 states across the country to establish or expand counseling programs. Grantees will use funds to support counseling programs in elementary and secondary schools. Specifically, the new Elementary and Secondary School Counseling grant awards will aid schools in hiring qualified mental-health professionals with the goal of expanding the range, availability, quantity and quality of counseling services. Parents of participating students will have input in the design and implementation of counseling services supported by these grants.

“School counselors are a vital resource for students and educators, and play a key role in creating safe and productive learning environments,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “These grants will enhance school-based counseling programs, which have proven to be a great source of help for students and families with mental health and emotional issues.”

Full story of ED awarding counseling grants at ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education Awards More Than $14.7 Million in Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Grants

The U.S. Department of Education awarded more than $14.7 million to 40 school districts in 20 states across the country to establish or expand counseling programs. Grantees will use funds to support counseling programs in elementary and secondary schools. Specifically, the new awards will aid schools in hiring qualified mental-health professionals with the goal of expanding the range, availability, quantity and quality of counseling services. Parents of participating students will have input in the design and implementation of counseling services supported by these grants.

“School-based counseling programs are a wonderful resource for students whose families may not be able to take advantage of outside services or programs,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “These grants will allow school districts to hire more professionals and provide additional services to those students who are struggling with mental-health and emotional issues, and their families.”

Full story of counseling grants at ed.gov

Editorial: Family violence – Start with education

Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose’s decision to highlight family violence in her first speech to the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has particular resonance in Saskatchewan – the province with the worst record on this issue.

Ambrose, who took on her new role in a cabinet shuffle last month, told the CMA’s annual meeting in Calgary Monday that spousal violence – along with elder and child abuse and other family violence – has “far-reaching” harmful effects on society. She urged physicians to report abuse disclosed by patients and said she’s committed to working with government and other agencies to address the issue.

Though the annual financial cost of spousal violence in Canada is considerable – $7.4 billion, of which $6 billion is spent on medical treatment, including counseling – the human cost is incalculable. And as Ambrose noted, aboriginal women bear the brunt of it as they are three and a half times more likely to be the victims of spousal abuse as non-aboriginal females.

Full story of family violence and education at the Leader Post

Healthy Kids: What to expect when your child is in therapy

What to Expect When Your Child is in TherapyWhen parents decide to take a child to therapy for behavioral or emotional issues for the first time, they may have concerns about their role in the counseling process.

Although every situation is different, the following is a guideline on what parents can expect their involvement to be during the therapeutic process:

Preschool, elementary school • For a young child, a parent’s participation and follow-through is essential. Not only will the behavioral health professional need a report on the child’s behavior between sessions, but it is also important for the participating parent to learn skills to help his or her child succeed in therapy.

In Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, an empirically supported treatment for conduct and emotional disordered young children, parents are just as involved as the child in therapy. During sessions, parents are coached by the therapist and are taught new ways of interacting with their child. The goal is to establish a nurturing and secure relationship while increasing the child’s positive behavior and decreasing negative behavior.

Full story of parenting children in therapy at the St.Louis Post-Dispatch

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Psychologists find that bad night’s sleep worsens relationship conflicts

Bad Sleep Worsens Relationship ConflictsRelationship problems can keep us awake at night. But new research from UC Berkeley suggests that sleepless nights also can worsen lovers’ fights.

UC Berkeley psychologists Amie Gordon and Serena Chen have found that people are much more likely to lash out at their romantic partners over relationship tensions after a bad night’s sleep.

"Couples who fight more are less happy and less healthy," said Gordon, a doctoral student in psychology and lead author of the study published online in the journal,Social Psychological and Personality Science.

"Our research helps illuminate one factor that leads couples to engage in unnecessary and harmful conflict by showing that couples experience more frequent and severe conflicts after sleepless nights," she added.

Full story of bad sleep and relationships at News Medical

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Mental health counseling expanded to elementary schools

Mental Health Counseling at ElementaryMilpitas Unified School District continues to be proactive about its intervention, last week approving placement next month for additional mental health counseling days before Friday’s tragic massacre of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Less than one week after the Board of Education approved the ratification of a $104,000 contract with Palo Alto-based non-profit organization Counseling and Support Services for Youth to provide social and emotional support services at six elementary schools (Burnett, Curtner, Pomeroy, Randall, Sinnott and Weller) effective Jan. 7 through June 14 mental illness has become a key issue under the microscope nationwide.

The marriage and family therapists will help students here deal with a variety of issues such as depression, feelings of isolation and anger management through individual and group sessions. The remaining three elementary schools not being serviced through CASSY already have counseling services on site.

Full story of mental health in elementary schools at Mercury News

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Nine-year-old boy suspended for ‘sexual harrassment’

By Gregory Kane

Sexual Harassment In SchoolThis is a tale of a bus and a guy named Bostic.

Bostic’s first name is Jerry. He’s probably a pretty swell guy, I suppose. At least, by his own admission, he is.

He spent 44 years as an educator. And, Bostic said recently, he "really enjoyed" working with the kiddies.

The bus in this story is the figurative one that Bostic got tossed under. Details of the Bostic and the bus story go like this.

Bostic, until very recently, was principal of Brookside Elementary School in Gastonia, N.C. One of the students there was a 9-year-old fourth-grader named Emanyea Lockett.

Little Emanyea must have shown signs that he was on his way to becoming a heterosexual male, and there are elements in America today that would sure like to nip that trend in the bud. Emanyea told one of his fellow students that he thought a certain female teacher was "cute."

Full story at The Examiner

Is arrest the best chance for a child to get mental health care?

By Tim Haeck

Children Mental Health CareA girl accused of stabbing two classmates at Snohomish High School had been expelled, evaluated and treated in the months before the attack. That violent episode exposes a shortage of mental health services for kids.

Some experts even suggest that getting arrested might be the best chance for critical, long term treatment.

When Pat Martinelli heard about the stabbing last month, she thought about the two freshmen victims, of course, but also about their young attacker. "I just felt really bad for the girl whose only way of managing her world was to act in this way."

Full story at MYNorthwest.com

Emotes

By Rebecca (Bell) Branstetter


Anyone who has been a therapist or counseling with kiddos for a while will appreciate this post. I don’t know about y’all, but there are some things in my play therapy kit that I kind of want to throw away because every kid seems to want to play it and I’m so over it (Uno and Connect Four, I’m looking at YOU guys!). I often need play therapy toy "crop rotations" to mix it up. Of course, sand tray is always a classic that never leaves, but sometimes I throw a new dinosaur in there to see if it morphs into the principal or a bully at school. It’s a good time.

There are some kids though who don’t play with anything in the room or get bored easily with the materials you have. I had such a kiddo a while back. He was a kindergarten kiddo who was referred because of impulsivity and aggression in the classroom. He spent most sessions complaining about my toys and asking why he had to be there. At the same time, I had his middle school equivalent in my office a few hours later. Only instead of aggression in the classroom, he also showed aggression in the community. And would you believe I found a series of toys and activities they BOTH liked???

Full story at studentsgrow.blogspot.com