Behavioral Health in Kentucky Schools

"One in five adolescents is diagnosable with a health disorder, less than one in ten are getting the services of those one in five," said psychologist Dr. Bill Pfohl

Those are numbers psychologist Dr. Pfohl shared to highlight what he says is a problem.

While many have questioned gun control laws after the horrific event in Connecticut last week, Pfohl believes we should be looking at more ways to help troubled young people, before they resort to drastic measures.

However, officials and he are both aware, school budgets are tight.

"The school budgets as everyone knows have been cut, well part of those are school psychologists, school counseling services which are the mental health network within the schools," said Pfohl.

"Our state has been hit with a real heavy recession issue and budget issues. So I, like every other state agency would like to see our funds restored back to where they were before the recession hit," said Jon Akers, Director for Kentucky Center for School Safety.

Though, the budget is bleak, the state school safety program does make an effort to fund behavioral health and counseling.

"We will work with the behavioral health folks, and find out what services need to be provided for a child during the school day, and sometimes those involve some kind of intervention service where we bring in a person from outside to work with them," said Akers.

Even after the recent shooting, Pfohl doubts anyone will take action.

"After Columbine, there was a promise for 100-thousand new psychologists and new counselors in the united states as a bill in congress, it's still there today. It has never been acted on, it has never moved into discussion," said Pfohl.

However, many agree there needs to be changes, so events like last Friday don't happen again.

WBKO also spoke with State Senate Education Chair Mike Wilson of Bowling Green.

He says he's evaluating how things are done in Kentucky, to see if the state legislature can make our schools any safer.


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