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Superintendent Mat Bottoms Announces Opioid Abuse and Mental Health As Top Concerns For Carteret Schools

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.

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  • 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.

Filed: Carteret County NC Information

“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?

Resources: NAMI

Michael Sharp

Native of Carteret County NC, Father to Makayla and Savannah. You can add me on Facebook. Interest include web development, encryption, and other technologies.

5 thoughts on “Superintendent Mat Bottoms Announces Opioid Abuse and Mental Health As Top Concerns For Carteret Schools

  • August 14, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    This really is a crisis and am thankful that administrators are paying attention to this. This issue literally could cut the legs out from underneath the social and family legs we stand on if it is not addressed. This wave of addiction is consuming America.

  • January 12, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    Not everyone addicted to opioids in Carteret County are bad people. Most aren’t dealing and many aren’t violent. Just like people with diabetes, I really feel like some people are predisposed to addiction while some aren’t. We need to focus less on the criminal nature, prosecution, and incarceration to a more human approach of getting people help. I hope the school system, Mr. Bottoms, and teachers will consider this.

  • December 4, 2018 at 2:25 am

    Teachers, counselors, and support staff getting an education and training on opioids and mental health to help their students is a most wonderful idea and I thank the Superintendent for these efforts!

  • November 14, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    I do think county school children are the missing face of opioid abuse and associated mental health problems where many suffer in silence. It’s not hard to imagine that these students carry this baggage to the classroom with them. How can they process information and learn when their minds are worrying about violence at home, whether a parent is in jail, or they worry about a parent overdosing for the third time this year?

    Much respect to Superintendent Bottoms and teachers for standing on the front lines of this immense battle that we face.

  • October 16, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Much respect to the superintendent for his decision to focus on these 2 issues. The Carteret County opioid crisis is very real, and taking it’s toll on the children in these families which no doubt will affect the schools who then have to take time out to deal with the aftermath instead of focusing all attention on education.


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