Mental health professionals hope the attention leads to lasting change.

As districts prepare for the fall after the first full year during the coronavirus pandemic, many are looking at ways to help best address the mental health needs of students, especially those who may have experienced trauma, anxiety or social isolation.

Other initiatives targeting school culture include adding mental health as an excused absence.

The pandemic has helped bring more attention to the importance of mental health support in school, particularly as districts have an infusion of federal funding that could be put toward more staffing or training, and how schools can foster a healing-centered environment “focusing on social-emotional well-being,” Domingues said.