Not all parents agree that schools should provide more therapy for students

Derry Oliver first discussed seeing a therapist with her mother when she was in the fifth grade. Their new home would be in New York City. While her mother, Derry Oliver, also a Derry, obtained employment and an apartment, Derry was forced to live with relatives in a different state. (In this narrative, the mother will be referred to as Oliver, and the girl as Derry.) It was a challenging year. A school employee recommended counseling. Derry’s mother objected with therapy and questioned the recommendations. “You look so youthful. Nothing is wrong with you. Growing pains, that’s what Oliver told her daughter.


But Derry’s sadness worsened as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. She found studying at home to be very isolating. She requested assistance from her high school. Social workers and other mental health professionals working in schools in New York are permitted to offer certain counseling services without a parent’s consent. But parental consent is necessary for therapy. “I could relate to her worries and frustrations, so it was really emotional for us both,” Derry recalled. However, there are instances when allowing your child access to something is preferable to keeping it hidden from them.


Schools around the country have hired additional mental health specialists thanks to federal funding obtained during the pandemic. To reach as many students as possible, they also incorporate online counseling and healthcare. With the increased accessibility of medicines and the increased candidacy of youth over mental health concerns, schools are increasingly having trouble persuading parents to consent to treatment. Chelsea Trout is a student at New York University studying social work. She is receiving her training at a Brooklyn-based institution. It was described by her as a “disconnect” between parents and kids.

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