The Vital Role of School-Based Health Centers in Creating a Violence-Free School Environment
Sadly, many young people today are confronted with violence. Besides bullying, they experience or witness aggression at school or in their neighborhoods. Exposure to violence often causes more emotional harm than physical harm for young people. Whether real or perceived, violence or the threat of it can lead young people to feel tense, anxious, and afraid, and it can breed feelings of hopelessness and despair that can lead to school dropout.
School-based health centers can play a catalytic role in averting school violence, mitigating exposure to violence, and facilitating overall school wellness. They are essential partners in the school and community response to violent events through the provision of early mental health intervention programs and services. They are critical allies in restoring safety and calm for school-aged children and adolescents who have been victimized or have witnessed violence, and in preparing the school to develop safety plans.
- Centers for Disease Control. Understanding School Violence Fact Sheet. http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/SchoolViolence_FactSheet-a.pdf. Published 2010. Accessed May 3, 2011.
- Juvoven, J., Wang, Y. and Espinoza, G. Sept 2, 2010. Bullying Experiences and Compromised Academic Performance Across Middle School Grades. Journal of Early Adolescence.