Superintendent Mat Bottoms has announced an exciting initiative to combat mental health and opioid abuse as top concerns for students, staff, and other county leaders within public health. The Superintendent announced his plans at the first meeting of the Carteret County School Board as it sets to begin the 2018 / 2019 school year. Below are some highlights from this meeting and Mr. Bottoms announcement. At the end of this article is a comment form for readers to give input.
- Partnering with Trillium Health Resources and CARES Task Force (consisting of county commissioners, leaders from law enforcement agencies, education and the medical professions) to address the opioid epidemic in the county.
- Announced that the school’s role is to educate students and parents about the dangers of opioids and will work with mental health counselors in the area to address this need for students within the county.
- Trillium Health Resources has contracted with a company called Integrated Family Services to deliver personnel for this initiative.
- Dr. Sue Kreuser, director of healthful living for the county school system, is tasked with applying for grants to help pay for these services.
- Trillium is already at work training teachers and support staff about mental health and opioid abuse issues within families and how they do affect children within the schools.
- The Superintendent and board members also discussed school safety and effectively tied in how mental health services for children will play a big role in decreasing the potential for safety concerns.
- Members of the CARES Task Force and school board announced that grades third through fifth will begin receiving education and support on this initiatives mission.
“We’re in a crisis regarding mental health, It’s hard to teach a kid who’s also struggling with mental health issues or who’s stressed out over what’s happening at home.” – Superintendent Mat Bottoms
Discussions and Comments
As a parent within the school system, what volunteer opportunities currently exist to help the CARES Task Force and school staff with this initiative? Clearly, education begins at home and something everyone should begin immediately, but what can interested parents do to provide additional resources to this campaign?