Date of Conferral
Counselor Education and Supervision
Mental health in schools is a growing concern for many school counselors, educators and communities. School counselors are in key roles in the school setting to support students with mental health concerns. This research was done to gain a deeper understanding of the experiences, beliefs, and attitudes of school counselors supporting students with mental health diagnoses. This hermeneutic phenomenology research used n=4 participants school counselors and each has worked in their field for over 6 years. Additionally, each participant worked in the same school building for a minimum of 3 years or more. Semi structured interviews were used to collect the data. Key findings indicated that the participants all identified many of the same mental health diagnoses in their schools. There were five themes that emerged from the data: The themes included: (a) common mental health concerns, (b) desire for education/training, (c) outside resources for students with mental health concerns, (d) barriers to effective student support and (e) limited time to support students with mental health concerns. The results of this study may inform school counselor education programs, inform other school counselors of ways to support students with a mental illness, and begin conversations about mental health funding for schools.