Tennessee leaders engage in conversation about the connection between student mental health and educational success

Breaking Down Mental Health Barriers: A Symposium on Student Success in Tennessee

NashvilleHealth and the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) recently co-hosted an event at the state capital to address the common concern of mental health and its impact on students’ educational outcomes. The symposium, held at Lipscomb University, provided a platform for stakeholders to share innovative programs, best practices, and student experiences. Over 200 community, education, and mental health leaders attended the event.

During the symposium, Dr. Marquinta Harvey, assistant professor of epidemiology at Belmont University, spoke about the connection between mental health and student success in Tennessee. The discussion also brought attention to research gaps surrounding the impact of mental health services on state education outcomes. Additionally, the Belmont Data Collaborative released new county-level data on mental health vulnerabilities in Tennessee, highlighting the most vulnerable counties and zip codes in the state.

Some of the most vulnerable counties identified in the research were Lake and Haywood Counties in West Tennessee and Hancock County in East Tennessee. The symposium aimed to inspire and connect state and national organizations working on programs supporting positive student mental health. Senator Bill Frist, M.D., founder and board chairman of NashvilleHealth and SCORE, emphasized the importance of elevating bright spots and evidence-based work that could contribute to programs in Tennessee.

SCORE and other stakeholders at the event expressed hope that more research will be conducted to find positive ways to support students struggling with mental health issues. The symposium report, “Connecting the Dots: Mental Health and Student Success in Tennessee,” is available for further reading.

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