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Killingly community continues fight for mental health services

The Killingly community is continuing to fight for mental health services.
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 11:23 PM EDT
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KILLINGLY, Conn. (WFSB) - The Killingly community is continuing to fight for mental health services.

Dozens showed up at a Board of Education (BOE) meeting in an effort to push the board to discuss mental health options in Killingly High School.

This comes after the board rejected a plan to increase mental health in the school back in March.

The topic was not even on tonight’s agenda but still dozens of community members showed up hoping to push the board for answers. They even came before the meeting and held a rally outside of town hall.

Students, parents and teachers lined the Killingly Green, hoping their voices would be heard.

Jenelle Provencher said, “we’re going to keep showing up and fighting for these children and their voices and the supports they need.”

Killingly parents say mental health problems have plagued the town.

A November survey showed nearly 15% of middle and high school students who responded have made a suicide plan.

High School Senior Julianna Morrissette said, “my freshman year and prior to high school I struggled with depression and anxiety. I was able to get help outside of school, but it took a toll on my parents as well.”

Morrissette said she thinks having a mental health service on school property would help those who don’t have access outside of school

Out of the sea of green in support of mental health services at the school, there was one who opposed the idea.

Jasmine Berti says she thinks children shouldn’t be able to get mental health support without a parent’s consent.

“Parents need to be more involved with their children in every aspect,” said Berti.

At tonight’s board meeting, mental health services were not on the agenda. There was a vote to open the topic for a discussion, but it was voted down.

Christine Rosati Randal said, “every day that goes by, that they put this off, our students are in crisis. And I do feel like they’re playing political football with our student’s health and safety, to say that it’s not they haven’t given us an explanation otherwise.”

The next Killingly BOE meeting is on May 25.