Birmingham City Schools expanding free in-school mental health services for students this school year


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – Birmingham City School officials are seeing an increase in children with mental health issues since the pandemic, and leaders are working to give them more services and resources.

Birmingham City Schools AND Alabama Regional Medical Services are now providing free health and medical services to students at seven different schools.

There is a school clinic at Wenonah High School that these new students are eligible to use for free. Superintendent Dr. Mark Sullivan said the clinic has been successful at the high school and he knows it will be successful for other students. Sullivan said they have seen 200 students and 38 percent have been seen for mental health issues. He said that according to the data of the schools, these additional schools have a high medical and financial need for assistance.

Hayes K-8, Washington K-8, Green Acres Middle, Carver High, Huffman High and Brown K-5 all have access to services now.

He said since the pandemic, more students are showing signs of mental health struggles, including in elementary schools, and he wants to help before the problem gets worse.

“People think mental health is just for kids to act out, but it’s not,” he said. “It’s anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, so this gives us an opportunity to really address those needs on the ground. I think it’s a game changer.”

The clinic will have nurse practitioners and social workers and will also provide basic medical care and vision and hearing aid.

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