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Loud and Clear

How many times do we have to hear about a school shooting before we realize our children are seriously hurting? The shooters who are begging for help can't get it because all their options have been taken away by those who are supposed to protect them...

According to news reports, the recent shooting in Michigan that resulted in the loss of 4 young lives could have been averted. School administrators knew the student was unstable and advised the parents to seek mental health services for their son only minutes before releasing him to return to his classroom where he began a five-minute shooting spree. What went wrong and why?

I have 25 years' experience in law enforcement and nearly two decades working as a mental health provider and I see a simple solution to this complicated problem: Clear out the political red tape, increase school campus armed security, and develop a standardized protocol for all school districts. Mental Health needs to be made a priority in the schools and yet it is ignored. Why?

In the past, schools hired armed security who worked on campus. School counselors were trained mental health professionals who could immediately get services to a student on campus and those services were free to the parents. Administrators were proactive with developing protocol to ensure security for the students. City officials participated in meetings and ensured support for all these individuals and organizations. Everyone worked together with law enforcement and trained together for a more aggressive protective approaches to school safety. It worked and our children and schools were safe.

Today, schools remove parents, remove mental health services, remove school security, and remove law enforcement. City officials, school administrators, and unions blame everyone but themselves. Until families get the help they need, children will continue to cry out for help, and their cries will go unheard...until they are heard loud and clear.

Every day we have to turn away parents who are asking for help for their children. They have insurance, but they can't afford the copays and deductibles. Therapists who don't want to deal with the red tape of getting paid by insurance companies or don't want to wait the 6 months to get credentialed only accept cash pay clients. There are not enough therapists to handle the flood of children suffering and so everyone tries the best they can with no help. This is why I want to offer a safe place where parents can get the help they need, the resources they currently don't have, where they can express their frustrations, their fears, and support each other at a time when there is little to no support.

Won't you help us help? As a non-profit we can offer low-cost therapy, but we need your help to make it happen. Please consider donating to Encouragers Counseling & Training Today. You could be saving more than the life we help.


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