MARKOWITZ: After Covid, Fazio voted against expanding student mental health services

Submitted by Mary Ellen Markowitz

t is back to school time for our young ones and teens and along with all the usual first day butterflies there are the academic challenges of the fallout from two years of Covid disrupted learning.

As a mental health professional I am acutely aware of how emotionally impactful these previous years have been on our students. Anxiety and depression were on the rise for years prior to the pandemic, and the pandemic served to increase the prevalence.

Although it is too early to have conclusive evidence on the long-term impact on our young people, an early study done in England indicates that hyperactivity and depression in kids 4-10 years old
have risen during the pandemic. Teens have also had challenges with isolation, depression, and anxiety due to shifting friend groups impacted by the pandemic. (The Harvard Gazette: Snapshot of pandemic’s mental health impact on children)

With so much more to learn, and the realization that our children and teens have been emotionally affected by Covid 19 and lockdown, I cannot understand how State Senator Ryan Fazio would vote AGAINST our children’s best interest.

For example, Fazio was one of only two senators to vote against SB1, a bill – now law – that expands student mental health services in schools. It provides additional social workers, counselors, access to healthcare resources, and lower student-to-teacher ratios.

Do we really need someone representing us in Hartford who does not support our children? Vote for Trevor Crowe for State Senator – she cares!

As a community, we should expect our State Senators to have compassion for our children’s mental health struggles and voting in the best interest of our children.