Mental health will be a focal point when students return to class on Monday.
Chandler Unified and Mesa Unified School Districts are welcoming thousands of students back to in-person learning on Monday, September 14. Chandler Board Member, and social worker, Lindsay Love said monitoring students' and teachers' behavioral health is integral for a successful return to class.
"Our students and our teachers have a long journey ahead of them," said Love, who voted against returning to in-person education. "We’ve had parents and teachers alike talk about their anxiety and depression symptoms. Social isolation is not an easy thing."
Love said social workers and therapists will be available for students and teachers in need. She added that polarizing political opinions from a year of political and civil unrest could affect the students in the classroom.
"Issues of racial and political unrest and that’s gonna magnify a lot of the behavioral health issues views that parents are reporting," said Love.
On Thursday, Governor Doug Ducey and other health officials said there are worried about the effects of COVID-19 and isolation will have on mental health.
"The impact of COVID-19 makes it more important than ever. It's important to stay socially connected. Suicide is preventable, and there are resources that can help," said Dr. Cara Christ, Arizona Department of Health Services Director.
Nearly 1,500 Arizonans died of suicide last year. We won’t know 2020’s numbers until the next year.