GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Greenville County Schools just began a new year.
This year they are proud to say they have at least a part time or full time mental health therapist on site that schools can refer to.
The district says that makes it quick for students to get help and helpful for families too.
“Not just with the proximity of being able to help that student on site it also cuts down on a lot of transportation barriers even to get that service started for our families,” TJ Rumler said.
Rumler is a social worker within the district.
Starting this year GCS is trying to get as many staff members as possible to take a training called “youth mental health first aid.”
It’s a one day, 8 hour intensive course.
The district says it’s like CPR but for mental health.
They hope it helps staff identify if children are having problems with things like mental illness or excess chronic stress.
Some schools in Greenville County are also using mindfulness rooms to help children relax.
“Instead of sending them to in school suspension or them getting in trouble later on in the day, that’s the time for them to cool off and take a minute to refresh and get back to where we know they can be,” Katie Gillespie said.
Gillespie works at Tanglewood Middle School.
Tanglewood officials say being mindful and helping their students with their mental health during their middle school years will help them grow into successful adults.
“They’ll make it through high school and it will keep them in school so they will eventually go to a career school or college eventually to be able to take these skills with them through life,” Gillespie said.