“This is just a different way of thinking about what safe schools are. When people have the mental health and behavioral health support that they need, all that makes our school safer,” said Monica Taylor, vice chair of the County Council.
Bloom Planning was hired as a consultant for the assessment part of the undertaking, with a goal of evaluating how school-age children get access to mental and behavioral health services. That work began in December with interviews with local teachers, organizations, and mental health care providers. Now, the assessment is expanding to include parents and school staff.
The county is asking members of the community to complete two Bloom Planning surveys — one for families and another for school staff. In the near future, the consultant will begin putting together focus groups.
“We want to make sure we get a broad range to have input on this, because we’re really trying to redesign and rethink how we address this issue,” Taylor said, adding that all residents’ perspectives, no matter where they live, will be crucial for determining the next steps.