School nurses want exposure for school resources

Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 6:03 PM EST
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - School nurses in Mercer County hope to let students and parents know there are a variety of resources available to them. For both mental health and substance abuse challenges. The healthcare workers are hoping to end the stigma that’s associated with those who are dealing with those challenges.

“We just want to spread awareness to let these kids know this really isn’t a life that really anybody wants for themselves. That there are a lot of negative consequences that come with substance use abuse. Then with mental health we want them to know we’re here to advocate for them, we’re here to educate for them,” said school nurse, Katelyn Gilmore.

Over the years Mercer County Schools has seen a growing number of their students experience substance abuse and debilitating stress. It’s why thy’re adding more resources to better serve students.

“We now have not only our school counselors but we have social workers, we have student support specialists. On the Bluefield side and the Pikeview side we have added a community in schools worker. All of those positions serve to bridge the gap between home and school,” said school nurse, Candy Fulp.

“It’s just such a very common problem and a lot of these kids are struggling and the best way to help them deal with it is just talking about it. The more we talk about it, the better it’s gonna get for everybody,” said Gilmore.

Fulp and Gilmore say parents, teachers and students should say something if they see something when it comes to mental health and substance abuse issues with students.

Parents seeking more information about specific resources are urged to reach out to their child’s school and ask to speak with their school nurse.