Letter: Utah schools need more mental health professionals

I read about the Jordan School Board’s decision to hire a psychologist per elementary school in response to the suicides and in recognition of the tremendous stresses that involve our students.

Bravo to the school board for this forward thinking! I would also point out that psychologists in the schools are generally used for testing and limited counseling. Mental health counselors are great at counseling and working with groups to improve mental health and to be alert to individuals in crisis. There are already school nurses in the district who, if there were one per school, could be a resource for mental health concerns, lead groups and refer students to providers who can prescribe appropriate medication. Registered nurses have coursework in mental health.

Unfortunately, with one nurse per eight or nine schools, that nurse has to confine his/her work to medications and Individual Education Plans.

Diane Forster-Burke, RN, Cottonwood Heights