February 21, 2018  

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School of Social Work Graduate Student, Assistant Professor to Present on Mental Health Services in Miss. Public Schools

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Allan Rowe, a graduate student in The School of Social Work at The University of Southern Mississippi, and assistant professor Dr. Laura Richard will present on “The Need for Mental Health Services in Mississippi Public Schools” at the Mississippi chapter of the National Association of Social Workers' annual conference.

Presenters will be joined by faculty and staff attending the conference, “All People Matter” in Biloxi, Miss. on March 26-28. In conjunction with the conference, the school will host its annual alumni reception.

“According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in 10 children ages 9-17 have a mental or addictive disorder. Of these children, only 20 percent receive treatment,” said Richard. “Poor mental health contributes to truancy, suicide, school failure and involvement with the juvenile justice system.”

Richard and Rowe will discuss national and local trends in mental health provision in schools, relate positive outcomes of school mental health treatment to educational outcomes, and guidelines for providing services.

“The obvious benefit to having mental health services in schools is the ease of access for many students who may not otherwise receive mental health care,” said Rowe. “There are also benefits for the school; grades improve, drop-out rates lower, discipline improves and graduation rates improve.”

Richard intends to pursue grant opportunities to help build and support mental health programs in Mississippi schools.

Other presenters from the School of Social Work include research professor Dr. Alan Bougere; instructor and field instructor coordinator Deborah Graham; coordinator of student recruitment and alumni relations Barry Haywood; professor and master of social work program coordinator Dr. Jerome Kolbo; associate professor Dr. Susan Hrostowski; assistant professor Dr. Tamara Hurst; professor emeritus Dr. Raymond Scurfield; and alumni and advisory board members.  A number of social work students will present posters.

For more information on the School of Social Work at The College of Health, visit www.usm.edu/social-work.