Mental health awareness in schools

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- School District 51 officials and community members are working to develop a strategy to keep kids safe at school. Members of the D-51 school safety and security group say part of that process involves being aware of best practices already being done.

A member of the group and school counselor made a presentation at one of the meetings.

"What he explained to us in terms of national best practices and intervention around threat assessment and intervention efforts on the front end with students who may have been suffering from behavioral issues where they can get professionals involved on the front in before issues become more substantial down the line," said School Safety and Security Group Co-Chair John Marshall.

Regional Director at Colorado West Mental Health Center, Michelle Hoy said all the research shows that prevention is best.

"I've definitely worked with the school district who has been a great partner in things like mental health first aid how do we make the adults in the school system aware of what mental health symptoms look like and feel comfortable and knowledgeable about intervening," said Hoy.

Marshall said it is important for the work group to know about interventions already occurring, to consider before making a recommendation to the School Board.

The group will meet again on March, 4 and has two more meetings that follow.

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