Schools Facing More Challenges

APS Psychologist on Student Mental Health
Posted on 06/08/2022
Image of Erich Merkle Interview(Taneisha Cordell for News5cleveland.com/ WEWS)

While we've adapted to a new sense of normal, the mental health impact of the pandemic continues to plague Northeast Ohio schools.

“We definitely need more support in our schools,” said Shari Obrenski, president of the Cleveland Teacher's Association. “We see some behaviors that we have not experienced before. Students that are very quick to anger or very quick to be upset and in ways that we wouldn't have seen previously. Reactions that are more severe than we would normally see … also, a lot of our adults, you know, we don't have the level of patience that we did either. Just a lot of a lot of stress on the system for a variety of reasons, and I think we see that everywhere.”

The impact is burdening teachers as well.

“We're hearing more and more than ever before that staff are feeling burnt out. Teachers are thinking seriously about whether they can make it in the profession and in some cases are actively seeking mental health support.”

According to Erich Merkle, a psychologist for Akron Public Schools, ongoing trauma of racial injustices, school shootings and gun violence outside of school aren't helping. Read more here >>.
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