District ‘Medium-High Risk’ For Adverse Experiences, Low Access To Mental Health

The Bourbon School District is a medium-high risk for adverse childhood experiences (ACES) and ranks in the bottom 25 percent quartile for access to mental health care providers.

Superintendent Patricia Thompson said Wednesday at the monthly school board meeting she spoke with Rep. Jason Chipman about her concerns with the disparity in available resources between Crawford County and neighboring counties.

Last year the district budgeted for a ‘family-school liaison’ — a position that would act as a conduit between home and school. The position would help students with needs that go beyond the classroom and provide resources to their families.

Thompson said Wednesday the ACES score is pulled from areas of abuse (emotional, physical, sexual), neglect (mental illness, poverty, substance abuse, female-headed households), toxic stress (behavioral responses, family counseling, family disruption, gun violence, premature death, unemployment/low education and insufficient housing and social supports) and household challenges (substance abuse, mental illness, mother treated violently, parental separation or divorce).

ACES were identified in a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente that linked traumatic events in childhood to individual health and well-being in adulthood.

“It’s bigger than just our school district,” Thompson said.

Chipman, she said, was receptive and that he would reach out to see if there is anything the district “can tap into.”

Districts at neighboring Franklin and Gasconade counties have more resources to tackle adverse experiences. Franklin County districts are assisted by Crider Health Center. Gasconade County collects a tax that pays for a position at the Hermann and Owensville districts.

Sullivan Independent News

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