Monday numbers: A closer (and sobering) look at NC’s response to the mental health needs of the state’s children

Monday numbers: A closer (and sobering) look at NC’s response to the mental health needs of the state’s children

- in Education, News, Top Story

“We’ve known for years what works in public education, but we’ve allowed our differences and our fears to stand in our way.”

State Board of Education Chairman Eric Davis told members the House Select Committee on an Education System for North Carolina’s Future last week that the state must rapidly increase the number of skilled professional psychologists, social workers and school counselors to help students after two years of pandemic stresses.

His appeal came on the heels of a first-of-its kind national report that scores every state on policies that support school mental health, along with recommendations for how to improve.

This week’s Monday numbers column takes a closer look at “America’s School Mental Health Report Card” and how North Carolina children are faring.

Nationally

1 in 8 — Before the pandemic, 12% of youth ages 12 to 17 reported at least one major depressive episode in the past year.

31 — Percentage of parents who say that their children’s emotional health is worse now than before the pandemic

North Carolina

1.678 million — Approximate number of K-12 students in North Carolina 

132,000 — Number of children with at least one major depressive episode in the past year

74,000 — Number of children with major depression who did not receive treatment

Source: NC Child Fatality Task Force annual report, 2021

110,000 — Number of youth with major severe depressive episodes in the past year

25 — Percentage of youth with severe major depressive episodes who received some consistent treatment

31,000 — Number of youth with a reported substance use disorder in the past year 

3,600 — Number of youth who have lost a parent or a caregiver since the pandemic began (Source: COVID Collaborative)

1:500 —  Recommended ratio of school psychologists to students

1:2,527 — North Carolina’s ratio of school psychologists to students

1:250 — Recommended ratio of school social workers to students

1:1,584 — North Carolina’s ratio of school social workers to students

1:250 — Recommended ratio of school counselors to students

1:354 — North Carolina’s ratio of school counselors to students 

42 — North Carolina’s overall state ranking for youth mental health in this year’s report card

55% — Share of Americans surveyed who say they are extremely or very concerned about the mental health status of youth in the U.S. in comparison to when they were younger (Source: Harris Poll on behalf of Inseparable )

48% — Share of Americans who think it is difficult for today’s youth to get professional mental health help when they need it.

22% — Share of Americans who think their state legislature and governor are doing enough to address youth mental health.

$5 million — Amount in federal COVID-19 relief funds Gov. Cooper directed last May to support mental health initiatives at community colleges and colleges within the UNC system. (Source: NC Governor’s office)

10,000 — Number of faculty, staff and students the UNC System plans to train on mental health first aid using the federal relief funds

855-587-3463 — Phone number for the Hope4NC helpline, which North Carolinians can call, text or chat for mental health support. It is available 24/7 and provides free and confidential emotional support. Hope4NC can also help people who do not have insurance find behavioral health, mental health and substance use services.

Read the America’s School Mental Health Report Card here.

The Hopeful Futures Campaign, which produced the report card, is made up of a broad cross-section of organizations including:Active Minds, Bring Change to Mind, The Center for Law and Social Policy, Healthy Schools Campaign, Inseparable, The Jed Foundation, The Kennedy Forum, Mental Health America, Mindful Philanthropy, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Center for School Mental Health, Partnership to End Addiction, Rare Impact by Rare Beauty, The Trevor Project, UNICEF USA, Well Being Trust, and YourMomCares.