RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- National School Counseling Week 2023 is Feb. 6-10, 2023. The week is an opportunity to focus public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems.
With school lockdowns on the rise across the country and in the Triangle, a pandemic, and mental health issues among teens spiking, the role of school counselors has changed.
More training and certifications are required of counselors as they deal with all the issues students today face.
"Based on our risk behavior survey data, since the pandemic, there has been a rise, unfortunately, in mental health concerns with our students. and so our healthy schools' team, we are working to provide resources to put in different things, to address behavior, health, to address safety. schools are required to have a school mental health policy to address concerns," explained Kisha Bryant, School Counseling Consultant with N.C. Dept. of Public Instruction.
"So, we are working with staff and schools to be able to make sure that they have the appropriate training to address crises, to address mental health as they arise with their students, but also as they arise with their staff as well," Bryant added.
According to the American School Counselor Association, the nationwide recommendation for counselor-to-student ratios is one to 250 students.
"We know our North Carolina school counselors were funded at one for every 400 students," explained Dr. Laverne Mattocks-Perry, Sr. Exec. Director of Student Support Services for Durham Public Schools. We're proud in Durham Public Schools we are getting closer to that recommendation, and we are on average at about one to 275 students," Perry added.