As schools cope with shortages of in-person practitioners, however, educators say teletherapy works for many kids, and it's meeting a massive need. For rural schools and lower-income students in particular, it has made therapy easier to access. Schools let students connect with online counselors during the school day or after hours from home. "This is how we can prevent people from falling through the cracks," said Maria Ishoo, whose third-grade daughter used teletherapy in Lancaster, California. Students and their parents said in interviews they turned to teletherapy after struggling with feelings of sadness, loneliness, academic stress, and anxiety. For many, the transition back to in-person school after distance learning was traumatic.
Schools are footing the bill, many of them using federal pandemic relief money as experts have warned of alarming rates of youth depression, anxiety, and suicide The rapid growth of the companies raises questions about the qualifications of the therapists, their experience with children, and privacy protocols, said Kevin Dahill-Fuchel, executive director of Counseling in Schools, a nonprofit that helps schools bolster traditional, in-person mental health services. "As we give these young people access to telehealth, I want to hear how all these other bases are covered," he said. See the full story.
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