Lee County Schools focus on mental health as students & staff return after Hurricane Ian

WGCU PBS and NPR | By Mike Kiniry and Tara Calligan |October 18, 2022

Many of Lee County’s roughly 90,000 public school students are returning to the classroom this week after nearly three weeks off because of Hurricane Ian.

Most of the district’s 96 schools received at least some damage and 18 sustained significant damage from the storm and will require extensive repairs.

Schools in Lee County have been opening in batches, with a majority set to welcome students back by October 21, 2022.

As schools prepared to reopen last week, the district’s department of School Counseling and Mental Health Services held training sessions for mental health staff to prepare for the return to school.

Lori Brooks, Director of School Counseling and Mental Health Services at the School District of Lee County, explains how the district plans to focus on student and staff mental health following a natural disaster.

Plus, get an update on the work being done at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Community Counseling Center — home of the Counseling and Psychological Services, or CAPS program. The university was closed for nearly two weeks after Hurricane Ian swept through Southwest Florida.

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