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Amid Pandemic, School Counselors Struggle To Connect With Kids In Need Of Support

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COVID-19 has made it harder for school counselors to connect with students who are struggling with mental health.

This week is annual National School Counseling week, and it’s the first in which schools nationwide are conducting classes online.

Many counselors used to having students walk into their office to chat throughout the day no longer have that option.

Kayla Willey is a counselor at Eastern Greene High School.  

“I enjoy meeting with the kids face to face and being able to be that support and having that kind of taken away has been a big shift," Willey said.

Students have had little contact the last few months and many counselors are trying to mitigate that by staying in touch as best they can.

Director of Counseling Services at Columbus North High School Patrick Pemberton said he’s seen how students are affected by the pandemic.

“School is also a social place for kids and that’s okay it should be," he said. "They can start developing some isolation as can adults if they’re not around other people especially their peers.”

The CDC reports that mental health related doctors’ visits for kids between 12 and 17 years old increased by 31% in 2020 compared to 2019.

Pemberton encourages students struggling with mental health issues to reach out to school counselors for help.

For the latest news and resources about COVID-19, bookmark our Coronavirus In Indiana page here.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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