CDC Releases ‘Racial Guidance Program’

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( – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention new school guidance is placing a lot of attention on how equity and race-based affinity groups can help improve students’ mental health. The guidance was released this month with the purpose of assisting school administrators and teachers in identifying the best practices for positively assisting students who are struggling with their mental health.

The document notes the education system has an important role in helping with student’s well being, while also aiding with their mental and behavioral health. As it points out, the strategies followed in schools can work both as preventative measures and can be part of early intervention efforts.

The guide specifically notes that schools need to have adequate staffing of mental health professionals, as well as support from administrators. It also points out the important role that can be played by equity in helping address a student’s mental health.

According to the documents students that experience racism, or who belong to a racial, ethnic minority or the LGBTQ community need to be prioritized in these efforts as they will often not feel as connected to the school and could end up experiencing poor mental health.

Schools should also try to employ teachers that come from different ethnic backgrounds so that the staff can be a reflection of the student body. Currently, while over half of the student population in the country belongs to minorities, less than two in ten teachers come from a racial or ethnic minority, this could lead to further disconnect between the students and the staff.

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