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SAN JOSE, CA – On Wednesday, May 5, 2021, the Santa Clara County Board of Education (SCCBOE) unanimously passed a resolution recognizing Student Mental Health Week. The resolution first honored May as National Mental Health Awareness Month, which aims to raise public awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness and emphasizes the importance of mental health awareness for students, through the recognition of the week of May 10, 2021 to May 14, 2021 as California Student Mental Health Week.
Due to pandemic-related challenges, economic uncertainty, civil unrest and a sharp increase in trauma, the State of California acknowledged the dire need for student mental health services in recently passed Assembly Concurrent Resolution 68. The state assembly resolution designates a week each year for the awareness of student mental health and well-being, and ensures health plans are meeting the requirement to provide mental health services to students. Supporting this measure, the SCCOE and the SCCBOE also acknowledged the need for increased investments in mental health services for students.
“Times of crisis and unrest in society can drastically influence mental health, wellness and emotional well-being. The increased anxiety and stress can negatively impact physical and mental wellness and academic and career success,” said Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Mary Ann Dewan. “Student mental health services are integral to their educational journey.”
“The need for comprehensive and coordinated mental health services for students in school is a critical part of an overall education plan,” said Santa Clara County Superintendent, Dr. Mary Ann Dewan. “Students are more than 27% more likely to benefit from mental and wellness services when they have access to mental health services on their school campus.”
To further promote student mental health and well-being, the SCCOE has partnered with state and local government agencies, including the Santa Clara County Behavioral Services Department, Santa Clara County Child Death Review Team, and the Santa Clara County Suicide Prevention Department, to bring awareness and response to mental health with targeted funding and resources.
The SCCOE continues to develop partnerships with community based organizations that support youth mental health awareness such as the Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) program and suicide prevention services, to further its goal of maintaining equity, diversity, inclusion and partnership throughout districts and schools, county-wide.
“We believe student wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life, and firmly advocate for school-based services that increase access for all students to quality mental health care, peer supports, and wellness oriented programs,” stated Santa Clara County Board of Education President, Claudia Rossi.
During the designated week to observe Student Mental Health Awareness, the SCCOE encourages everyone to participate in activities related to raising awareness, including parent and teacher conversations with students that remove the stigma associated with receiving services, sharing resources, and encouraging peer-to-peer discussions.
About the Santa Clara County Office of Education
Working collaboratively with school and community partners, the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is a regional service agency that provides instructional, business, and technology services to the 31 school districts of Santa Clara County. The County Office of Education directly serves students through special education programs, alternative schools, Head Start and State Preschool programs, migrant education, and Opportunity Youth Academy. The SCCOE also provides academic and fiscal oversight and monitoring to districts in addition to the 22 Santa Clara County Board of Education authorized charter schools.