Bay District Schools Needs More Mental Health Resources

Bay District Schools Needs More Mental Health Resources

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – Mental health is a problem that is being addressed nationwide. It is also a problem within Bay District Schools. The neighborhood is doing everything it can to help, but they need more resources.

Bay District School officials said they see a crisis among students with mental health problems.

“Mental health is at an all-time high,” said school safety coordinator Vernon Barth.


Between the isolation of the pandemic and the hardships of Hurricane Michael, local students have faced many challenges. Meanwhile, there are not enough resources to combat the problem.

School officials said that even when a student is sent to a mental health facility, sometimes they are rejected because the place does not have enough beds or people.

“We don’t have enough facilities and enough mental health people to help with the dire need,” Barth said. “Some of these students need more than what these schools can provide and what some of the local areas can provide”

Although they are not getting the help they need, district officials said they are working to fix the problem.

“We do our very best to train all of our employees, we try to make sure we can support them as best we can,” said Barth.

Students can suffer if they are not given the right guidance.

“Many students are emotionally ill-equipped to handle trying in difficult situations and therefore lash out verbally or physically,” explains Barth.

While the students may be suffering, Arnold Principal Britt Smith and Barth said parents and guardians should be involved.

“When parents have the opportunity to learn more about what’s going on within those services or how that will help their child, they start opening up because they want the very best child, too,” Smith said.

When contacted about their child’s need for mental health assessments or assistance, they want parents and guardians to understand that they can make a difference.


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