Maury County Schools address mental health, bullying among students

(Photo: WKRN)

MAURY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Maury County Public Schools are doing something a little different these days when it comes to approaching students with mental health issues.

“Across the country our district, it is not unique in seeing a rise in anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, bullying we have seen our fair share of that as well,” said  Maury County Supervisor of Counseling and Mental Health Dr. Robb Killen.

Pinpointing a growing issue, the district decided to take some steps to help battle these concerns.

“You have so many schools out there doing their own thing and Maury County has grown to that point where we have 29 school counselors we really just needed to get us unified,” explained Dr. Killen.

The challenge before was different plans for different students and if they changed schools there might be a different method to deal with these issues. Now, more collaboration between not only counselors, but also teachers and other faculty is making a difference.

“We have collaborative meetings with our high school counselors meet once a month, our elementary and middle meet once a quarter so those are some new things we are doing to try to have more collaboration to share ideas,” said Dr. Killen.

The sharing of ideas makes it easier to help the students who are dealing with mental health issues and working with other teachers and counselors allows everyone to be on the same page.

“I think that when we are able to educate about mental illness it is like any other illness it is like diabetes we find the diagnosis is we find what the treatment is and we implement it and a lot of that comes from working as a team being collaborative in all that we do,” said Maury County counselor Maria Jones.

And if something can’t be addressed by one faculty member, there is someone there to lend a hand.

“The teachers know we are there but they are so focused in on the academic goals they need to reach for the kids being able to work with them so that when they don’t have the time to deal with behaviors  that they don’t have time to deal with they can come to us as a resource and as an asset to help them,” said Maury County counselor Heather McDonald.

Working together to make sure the students in Maury County are ready for the future.