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South Carolina gets failing grade when it comes to dealing with students' mental health

DHEC said it's important for the state to hire more counselors to help deal with the issue.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There is a mental health crisis in America and a new report from the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shows that the Palmetto State has a failing grade when it comes to school-age kids.

Coming out of the pandemic schools are faced with more than trying to make up for lost time in the classroom. Most are now facing new mental health behavioral issues that children are dealing with that school counselors can help them with.

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But in the report delivered to Governor Henry McMaster, DHEC stated that there aren’t even counselors to cover even half of the schools in the state, leaving many with heavy caseloads and not enough time to get to students in need.

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DHEC said it's important for the state to hire more counselors to help deal with the issue. The report also said that it would be best if the con counselors are credentialed to be able to best handle children’s needs. But on average the state is paying about half of what other states are paying for these positions.

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Close up of African-American psychologist taking notes on clipboard in therapy session for children

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The American School Counselor Association recommends a ratio of one counselor for every 250 students, but right now, schools are lagging behind in providing for this much-needed guidance to help the state’s youth.

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