Response to Report Released by Governor's School Safety Preparedness Task Force

Monday, July 2, 2018

NH Children's Behavioral Health Collaborative Responds to Report Released by Governor Sununu's School Safety Preparedness Task Force

CONCORD, NH - The Governor’s School Safety Preparedness Task Force recently released a report outlining recommendations to ensure the safety and security of New Hampshire’s school children.  In response, Becky Whitley, Policy Coordinator for the NH Children’s Behavioral Health Collaborative issued the following statement.

“The Children’s Behavioral Health Collaborative applauds Gov. Chris Sununu and the School Safety Preparedness Task Force for its work on this report, particularly for including specific recommendations related to children’s mental health,” Whitley said.  “To improve school safety, we must ensure our children feel socially, emotionally and physically safe and supported. Connecting children and families with the services and supports they need in schools is a proven technique to address behavioral health concerns and a central piece of keeping our schools safe.

“We were encouraged to see the Task Force include recommendations supporting evidence-based interventions in our schools, such as Multi-Tiered Systems for Support and Behavioral Health (MTSS-B), Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) for all school personnel, and social emotional learning programs for all students,” Whitley said. “Supporting and growing these multi-tiered supports in schools will help New Hampshire’s children thrive and stay safe. But, we believe that the report could have gone further in examining and recommending the continued support of New Hampshire’s emerging System of Care to address children’s behavioral health. Continuing to examine gaps in the children’s behavioral health system and discuss what changes must be implemented to effect change must be included in any conversation New Hampshire has about school safety.”

The New Hampshire Children’s Behavioral Health Collaborative first convened in 2010 through a joint initiative of the NH Endowment for Health and NH Charitable Foundation to study and respond to the strengths and challenges of meeting the behavioral health needs of New Hampshire’s children and youth. The vision of the membership, currently 60 organizations and hundreds of families, is to cultivate and sustain an integrated, comprehensive children’s behavioral health system for the Granite State. More information at http://nh4youth.org/.

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