Logan schools taking steps to identify behavioral health

Logan County schools will be taking part in a new School-Based Behavioral Health Screening Initiative.

Statistics have shown that 20 to 25 percent of adolescents will experience a diagnosable mental health disorder, including substance abuse, before age 18. However, with appropriate identification and intervention, students with behavioral health challenges can continue toward a successful future that includes becoming prepared for college and career. Logan County Schools strives to enhance the health and well-being of every student and to help them be successful in school.

It is for this reason that Logan County Schools has elected to participate in the School-Based Behavioral Health Screening Initiative. This screening process will help Logan County High School identify risk factors and barriers to learning associated with behavioral health challenges which are known to reduce the likelihood of student success in school. Championed by First Lady Jane Beshear and the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General, this program will not only help the high school identify at-risk behavioral health problems, but will allow the school to intervene early and help families find appropriate services.

The district will be using the GAIN-SS which is a brief behavioral health screening instrument. Parents and guardians will receive a notice requesting their consent or allow parents to opt their student out of participating in this initiative. Once the student has participated in the screening process, Logan County staff will share the student’s results with the parent or guardian and provide guidance on any recommended follow-up evaluation or other steps deemed appropriate.

Dr. Barry Goley, Director of Pupil Personnel, working with the Kentucky Department of Education and Cabinet for Health and Family Services, believes this tool will be instrumental in helping identify student issues that may be dealing with behavioral health challenges.

“For years, our schools have been diligent in meeting many of the health needs for our students,” Goley said. “This will be the first time we have the opportunity and resources to recognize mental and behavioral health needs.”

Goley added that initial implementation will begin with Logan County High School, along with Olmstead and Adairville middle grades. The intention is to eventually introduce the program into other schools within the district for students in grades 5 through 8.

Parents wishing to have additional information on the School-Based Behavioral Health Screening Initiative may contact Dr. Barry Goley or visit the district’s website.

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