County officials launch advocacy campaign to address student mental health

County of Berks officials, in partnership with the Berks County Intermediate Unit, have launched a new targeted advocacy campaign to better address mental health issues and their impact on children and youth across Berks County.

This new effort stems from continued conversations and partnerships that began with the June 2022 School Safety Roundtable. Read more here: Berks County officials host roundtable discussion on school safety

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This meeting brought the Berks County Commissioners, Berks County District Attorney, Berks County Office of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities and BCIU together with stakeholders from school districts, healthcare systems and law enforcement to communicate, coordinate and collaborate about school safety and emergency preparedness.

The power of these partnerships is now being leveraged to plan, prepare, and protect the physical, social, emotional, and mental health of the more than 70,000 students and 5,000 school staff members in Berks County.

This local focus on student mental health is especially timely considering Governor Shapiro’s recent budget address where he dedicated a portion of his message to mental health issues. Many students’ mental health diagnoses are first identified in schools, and schools are often where students are first connected to mental health services and support.

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Funding local mental health resources to support the Berks County education system and student needs is vital. The following highlights the local leaders’ position to support “Cross-Systems Mental Health Funding” and clearly presents the campaign’s priority, supporting data and talking points, and advocacy ask.

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Berks Weekly
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