Approximately 72 percent of children under 18 living in the United States will have experienced at least one major stressful event — such as witnessing violence, experiencing abuse, or experiencing the loss of a loved one.
Shockingly, only three out of 50 U.S. territories meet the recommended student to counselor ratio of one for every 250 students, translating to 90 percent of students enrolling in public schools that fail to meet these standards. In Colorado, Our Turn is asking district leaders to rectify this issue and pass and fund a school board resolution mandating that all Denver Public Schools hire at least one full-time mental health counselor; train all district staff on trauma-informed practices each year; and hire counselors who are predominately people of color to be reflective of the students they work with.
Data shows clear benefits when student mental health is prioritized. Schools with adequate mental health services see improved attendance, higher academic outcomes and graduation rates, and lower rates of suspension, expulsion and overall disciplinary incidents, improving school safety overall.You can help us get the word out about closing this equity gap.
Sign the Petition to Advocate for Student Mental Health Counselors
Signing this online petition will support the grassroots movement to hire more mental health counselors to support students in Colorado and create a model for education requirements for other states to follow.
“When it came to my mental health, my school didn't seem to care. Like many Latinx families, mine sees mental health as taboo, either it's not real or you just don't talk about it. I went to ask for help from my school social worker, seeking counseling sessions or even just an ear to hear me out in that moment. I couldn't even receive that.”
Our Turn is active in multiple states across the nation, working directly with students and community partners to advocate for changes in education policy. Explore other current issues.
Push for More Equity in Minneapolis Schools
We’re elevating the voices of Minneapolis public school students to drive district-wide recommendations that combat inequities.
Increasing College Access in Los Angeles
LAUSD’s current policy allowing students to fulfill graduation requirements with a “D” grade average is leaving students behind, unprepared for higher education.