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Tulsa Public Schools Offers Board Insight Into Students' Mental Health

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Tulsa Public Schools is keeping tabs on students’ mental health amid a global pandemic that’s kept them out of school for months.

Around 1,100 students are currently receiving mental health services from the district’s more than 30 partner agencies, according to an update given to the TPS Board this week. 

TPS Student and Family Support Services Director Stephanie Andrews said the district started tracking mental health data at the end of last year, and what’s collected is slightly different this year.

"And I’m not a statistician, but I would say that the numbers if I was projecting will end up being much lower as far as students receiving mental health services this year," Andrews said.

Andrews says there have been 30 crisis intervention referrals logged year to date and 104 child abuse referrals since Jan. 1.

School-based wellness teams are able to respond when a student uses a district-issued device to search for something like suicide.

"And so, if a student types that in their device, it will flag the IT department, who then will be able to contact our office as well as the site-based wellness team member to check in with that student to find out why an inquiry might be used like that," Andrews said.

The safety measure is disclosed to families when they accept a device from the district.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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