Lauren Klauer: Barrington 220 Board of Education Mental Health Survey

NAMIBA: Mental health is a simmering crisis for many of our schoolchildren, partly hidden by isolation but increasingly evident in the distress of parents, the worries of counselors and early research.

As a member of the school board how would you address this crisis?

Lauren Klauer for 220

Lauren Klauer: The mental health crisis looming post-pandemic is evident and is of great concern. The isolation and stress of this past year pushed so many children deep into the throws of depression and anxiety (to name just a few) leaving many feeling helpless and out of control. Getting back to some normalcy with the reopening of schools and sports is a great first step to recovery but our job as a community will not end here.

If elected, I plan to keep mental health at the forefront of planning and conversation in the years ahead. I think that we need to invest in the help of counselors and mental health professionals and make services even more readily available to every child in every school in our district. We also need to use resources provided by local agencies like Barrington Youth and Family Services as much as we can. I think we must also focus on the mental wellbeing of parents. Could we make counseling services available to them too? I think it is our duty. We need to introduce more instruction in school on coping and mental wellbeing as part of health education. We need to provide information and guidance about the positive effects of physical activity on mental health. We need to provide safe areas for the community to express their feelings and resources to get the help and answers they are lacking as a result of the pandemic.

Barrington 220

Further, I believe this should not just be a post-pandemic push but should continue long after. Mental health is the most important thing. We don’t spend nearly enough time learning how to maintain it or care for ourselves when we struggle with it.

Learn more by reading Lauren Klauer’s feature in the Daily Herald or by following her on Facebook or Instagram. More information about the election can be found on District 220’s website. For more mental health resources, subscribe to NAMI Barrington Area’s newsletter.

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