Carol Carlson is not only a therapist, but a parent. She knows first-hand the importance of a kid’s mental health.

“Quite often, children aren’t reaching out to a counselor. They are reaching out to a person who they feel is safe. 

In light of the recent school shooting in Florida, the New York State Senate passed legislation regarding school safety measures. Two of the bills focused on adding mental health resources in every district. The Canandaiuga Superintendent supports this addition.

A lot of times, we are reactive when these things happen but if we can give mental health services to those who need it, this a more proactive approach,” said Jamie Farr. 

According to the bill, The Mental Health Coordinator’s role would be to work with students, faculty and other health professionals to address potentially dangerous mental health issues. And it wouldn’t be just one person. The resources and mental health counselors would be based on an individual district, like RCSD’s, needs.

It’s not possible for one person to do that. We already employ hundreds of school counselors and psychologists throughout the district. It’s just not enough given what we face as a district,” said Van White, President of the Rochester City School Board. 

Van White, President of the Rochester City School Board, says with 50 plus schools and over twenty thousand students, some added mental health coordinators would be helpful. The bill also states, schools would be eligible for $50,000 in state funding to hire a mental health services coordinator. Van White adds;however, no amount of money can prevent these kinds of tragedies.

“There can be no guarantees. All we can do is be vigilant day in and day out and make sure that people have the resources and the support that they need,” he added.

Senator Croci, who proposed this portion of the bill, told News 8: State aid will allow all schools across the state to have the funds to have a mental health counselor who would be certified and enhance public protection.

The bills need approval from the Assembly.

The Mental Health Association of Rochester has a lot of resources for parents and children.
You can contact them at 585-325-3145.