Helping schools create closer partnerships with mental health providers will be the focus of a conference at the University of Minnesota this week.
The Association of Metropolitan School Districts annual conference on Tuesday will highlight schools that have placed local mental health professionals on campus.
The association's executive director, Scott Croonquist, said there is a growing need for such services.
"It really helps with school attendance," Croonquist said. "Students don't have to miss school if they're able to get those services that they need right at the school. It really makes a big difference."
Croonquist said cuts in state aid have made it more difficult for schools to respond to students' mental health needs.
"Due to budget cuts in various state and community programs over the last decade," he said, "children are really not having their needs met outside the classroom. So there's a growing need for schools to interact with health care professionals."
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