RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The pandemic has created an awfully perfect environment to negatively impact mental health. Hopeful Futures Campaign said as a whole, the country wasn’t doing enough to address the mental health crisis and it’s only gotten worse.

The Hopeful Futures Campaign’s latest report said, “As our nation struggles to keep children in school, parents and educators alike are confronted with the increasingly complex mental health needs of children who are stressed out, anxious, depressed, and worse. Their needs are overwhelming our educators, who themselves are often overworked, underpaid, and don’t always have the training and supports to adequately help children who are struggling.”

The coalition has compiled its first national report card, grading every state on their policies that support mental health. North Carolina ranked 42 in the country on that list.

Hopeful Futures Campaign looked at a number of factors to make the decision including the number of psychologists, social workers and counselors available in school.

It found:

  • 132,000 children statewide with major depression
  • 74,000 children statewide with major depression who do not receive treatment
  • 1:2,527 ratio of school psychologist to students
  • 1:1,584 ratio of school social workers to students
  • 1:354 ratio of school counselors to students

The coalition said in their report, “School psychologists, social workers, and counselors who, together, provide a range of necessary mental health services in schools.”

It said improving current ratios were key to making improvements in mental health. It also recommended more well-being checks for students and staff in K-12 schools.

The report found there were also things the state was doing well like requiring that K-12 health education include mental and emotional health. North Carolina also received high marks for having a state Medicaid program that covers school-based mental health services for Medicaid-eligible students.

See the full report by clicking here.