More Mental Health Issues in High School Students, Lack of Resources Available

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Sue Dutton has been a school social worker for 25 years. During her career she has seen an increase in the number of high school students needing help for mental health issues.

"We know that about 50 percent of young people dropping out from high school have a mental health issue and so we want to make sure we're addressing those to get the academic success that young people need and to improve our graduation rates," Sue Dutton said.

Dutton says educators are better now at identifying the behaviors of mental illness now than in the past. However, she says the problem lies in the resources available to help students who need it.

Lincoln High School is fortunate to have two outside agencies that provide therapy right down the hall from classrooms. One of the organizations is Family Service.

Breanna Kaup with Family Service works with students at Lincoln High School two days a week. She says there is always a waiting list of students who need help.

"Although we do have two outside therapists that work in the Lincoln Public Schools at Lincoln High, we have a long waiting list. Just the lack of support," Sue Dutton said.

Dutton adds that early detection is key, but there needs to be more support available to help young people battling mental illness.


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