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Floyd County Schools work to combat student mental health issues

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 4:56 PM EDT
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FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - The Floyd County School system put counselors at every school in the county to help students struggling with mental health issues. Officials said they know children have a lot on their minds, and they could be struggling with a variety of problems.

“Whether it be anxiety, whether it be depression, loss of loved one, or loss of a significant pet, just loss in general,” said Floyd County Schools District Counselor Leslie Fannin. “We’re realizing that these children come to school with so much on their minds.”

After Senate Bill 1, otherwise known as the “Student Safety and Resiliency Act” was passed, school districts such as Floyd County began placing counselors at every school. One of those school counselors is Kayla McKinney, who helps students on a daily basis.

“If a student is suffering from any type of mental health issues then they’re probably also going to suffer academically,” said McKinney. “I think that’s the number one thing we really have to worry about and we really have to help our students to get to a good place mentally.”

McKinney and Fannin both said the pandemic seems to have made some mental health issues more prominent, but students have struggled with those things even before COVID-19. McKinney also said that students have unique issues, and people of all ages have been affected during the pandemic.

“It brought a light a lot of those issues,” she said. “I definitely think it has increased the mental health issues, but who hasn’t been affected in that way because of it?”

Both said children are not the only ones affected by mental health issues, especially during the pandemic.

“It’s okay to reach out. It’s okay because guess what? Adults have these feelings too, not just children.” said Fannin.

Fannin said to reach out to a trusted adult or to a counselor if a student is feeling down.

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