Combating Mental Health Issues in Public Schools

Yuster shared an incident involving a 15-year-old who was triggered after her classmate threw food at her in the middle of the lunch room. She said administrators called police even though they knew the student had mental health challenges,“School safety agents and police ended up restraining her, hand cuffing her in a violent manner, and she ended up having an asthma attack,” she said. “Then even after she was handcuffed, an NYPD officer shot her with a tazer gun, and after this we immediately helped her transfer out of the school.”

The 100 Schools Project aims to address the issues Yuster pointed out. The project sends mental health professionals into schools to coach staff on how to address students’ needs. Dr. Marilyn Jacob,Senior Director of the 100 Schools Project, said the goal is to help teachers recognize the early signs and symptoms of a mental health disorder.

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