Classroom Teaches A Lesson In Mental Health Treatment

As a “classroom interventionist,” Stephanie Galluzo’s job is to help students who act out in class to settle down and refocus. Teachers find this new classroom management tool a huge benefit for them, as they concentrate on the whole class and aren’t distracted by one child. Experts say the in-class integration of behavioral health specialists – rare in Connecticut schools — is helpful in identifying and averting potentially more serious anti-social behaviors. In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, in which 20 children and six adults were killed, there has been much talk about the need for improved mental health services to identify and treat vulnerable children before it’s too late. The classroom interventionist program at the Church Street School in Hamden is part of a larger pilot initiative called the Educational Care Collaborative, which aims to improve behavioral health services.  Much as children with learning disabilities are given in-class aides, the program assigns interventionists to classrooms where children have mental health challenges.

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