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The Big Shift: Special Education and Mental Health in 2021 Virtual Event

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John Smith / WAER News
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As graduation weekend just wrapped up at Syracuse University, education officials are already beginning to assess what support students will need going forward.  They’ll be talking about what the past year has been like navigating education during a virtual presentation on May 25th called The Big Shift: Special Education and Mental Health in 2021

Christy Ashby is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Center on Disability and Inclusion.  She says students didn’t experience a typical 18 months and will now need support with their social, emotional needs.

“At SU, even if we’re fully in person in the fall, which we fully intend to be, I think there’s still going need to be some work done to make sure that both are incoming students and our current students really get sort of reacclimated to a college experience and make sure that we are continuing to attend to those  mental health needs.”   

Ashby adds there is mutual concern for local K-12 students getting reintroduced to social interactions that were lost due the pandemic and figuring out the best ways to support them.  The pandemic also caused a positive shift to a different way to access mental health services, according to Associate Dean for Research in the Counseling Human Service Department at SU.  Melissa Luke says telehealth counseling has been helpful to families of students.

“And they find that the access to telehealth services is easier to schedule.  It also provides added opportunity for types of intervention that can be done.”

She says some of her clients have expressed they never want to return to in-person counselling entirely.  This will be some of the many topics covered during the virtual presentation Tuesday night from 6 to 7:30.  The event is a part of Mental Health Awareness month and is co-sponsored by Senator Rachel May’s Office.  To register and learn more details about the panelists and what other topics of interest will be covered during the event click here