Early intervention is key to supporting students, yet few educators have the tools, support necessary to address school safety concerns.

Student mental health tops list of school safety concerns

Early intervention is the most important and effective way to support students, yet few survey respondents feel equipped with the tools and support necessary to address safety concerns in their districts

Educators participating in a recent survey overwhelmingly believe that the Covid pandemic has increased student mental health needs–and in many instances, mental health issues are the biggest obstacle to school safety.

These latest statistics are found in the 2023 School Safety Survey from Raptor Technologies and the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO). Through the survey, Raptor gathered insight into a wide range of school safety and student wellness challenges school safety decision-makers face today. 

The survey surfaced critical data and insight on obstacles related to school safety and security processes, such as physical security, safety drills and procedures, and emergency response planning. In addition to 60 percent of respondents citing “mental health issues” as the greatest school safety obstacle they are encountering, 78 percent of respondents indicated the mental health needs of their student population have increased since returning post-Covid.

Mental health affects how children handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Early intervention is the most important and effective way to support a student who may be experiencing mental wellbeing issues they are not equipped to manage. However, over 50 percent of respondents indicated they aren’t fully equipped to assist with the mental health-related needs of their students.

“Recognizing a student in the initial stages of distress empowers schools to reduce that child’s exposure and give them the support they need when they need it,” said Gray Hall, CEO at Raptor Technologies. “With Raptor’s early intervention technology, school counselors and behavioral threat assessment teams can address concerns more effectively and prevent students from slipping through the cracks.” 

Using behavioral threat assessments is a critical component of school safety, enabling schools to evaluate threats and help guide students off the pathway to violence. Raptor’s StudentSafe software allows schools to document and manage low-level concerns, create student chronologies, conduct assessments for behavioral threats and suicide risks, and manage cases for positive student outcomes. Administrators gain immediate insight through alerts and robust dashboards and determine trends and gaps with full-scale reporting and more. 

Additionally, the Raptor-NASRO survey found that the top two most-needed safety improvements are physical security and training. The top three tools and processes most frequently identified are door hardening and emergency communication.

Raptor’s Emergency Management software includes Raptor Alert, which equips schools with an immediate way to call for help and, if necessary, initiate an emergency response, such as a lockdown or evacuation. The person initiating the alert can connect to 9-1-1 directly via the mobile application, voice call, or, where available, text-to-911, advancing emergency communication.

“From early student intervention to reunification tools and software, Raptor is dedicated to continuously working to improve our fully integrated school safety software and transform how the nation’s school districts manage every stage of school safety,” continued Hall. “These results of our NASRO survey provide us essential insight into the safety challenges districts face, helping us to fulfill our mission of protecting every child, every school, every day.” 

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This press release originally appeared online.

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Laura Ascione
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