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U.S. Department of Education issues handbook to help schools address students’ mental health needs

Calling the student mental health crisis “critical,” the U.S. Department of Education released a detailed guidebook Tuesday to help schools improve students’ social and emotional well-being.

The 100-page guide identifies challenges — including funding shortfages and perceived stigmas associated with mental illness — and recommendations. It also offers advice on how schools can use their federal Covid money to hire more counselors, social workers, nurses and psychologists and take other steps to improve students’ mental health.

“Our efforts as educators must go beyond literacy, math, history, science, and other core subjects to include helping students to build the social, emotional, and behavioral skills they will need to fully access and participate in learning and make the most of their potential and future opportunities,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said.