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When cuts to mental health hurt what matters most

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As most parents know, life can be hard sometimes. We try our best to balance our work and family lives and make every effort to give our kids the tools they need to succeed. Some children have greater needs than others. These children need exceptional teachers, who in turn often need the support of speech-language pathologists, social workers, and school psychologists to maximize the learning experience of their students.

What happens when children need more than what is provided? I am left to wonder what the long-term consequences of recent provincial funding decisions might be. The proposed cuts to psychology staff at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is reminiscent of the 1990s cuts which saw hundreds of hospital psychologists relegated to the private sector. Psychologists in other school boards have been informed of position losses.

School psychologists are like the family doctors of our education system. They are a first point of contact for everything that students come to school with. This far exceeds learning disabilities. They are the ones that do the suicide risk-assessments when students come to school feeling suicidal and the danger-risk assessments when students come to school with dangerous........

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