Addressing Mental Health in Schools

It’s a crisis that’s affecting so many, and senior Alivia McCaffrey-Graber is no exception.

“I found myself feeling like I was going through and repeating the same day over and over again,” said McCaffrey-Graber.

That’s why the county is partnering with Helio Health, Promise Zone, and Liberty Resources to make sure student and staff mental health needs are met. There will be access to 81 different Promise Zone specialists, 28 access liaisons, and 101 mental health clinicians in the North Syracuse Central School District.

“It’s cool to say, ‘Look it, I’m having a hard time. I need help.’ You’re hearing that from your county executive today,” said Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon.


What You Need To Know

  • Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced a $5.5 million investment in mental health services in schools on Friday
  • He said there is going to be a health clinic and health services in every school in the county
  • The county will add 45 Promise Zone specialists, 8 access liaisons, and 40 medical health clinicians to work at the schools

McMahon announced the increase in resources at Cicero North Syracuse High School, the second largest school in the county.

The services are broken up into three categories: Prevention, early intervention, and intensive intervention.

“The volume that is happening now with people, students, and families in need is just unprecedented,” said North Syracuse Central School District Superintendent Daniel Bowles.

The superintendent says the school will introduce assessments to identify students who may need help.

Teachers and students will be encouraged to make referrals for others and step up for themselves.

“More recently, the rise of TikTok has helped a lot of people speak out, realize that you’re not alone, and there are tons of other people going through what you’re going through. Maybe not exactly the same, but very similar. So I think the stigma for my generation is going down, and I think that’s really good because it’s a step in a good direction,” said McCaffrey-Graber.

McMahon says by next school year all schools will have the additional services in place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *