New UA center aims to help students with behavioral and mental health issues

New UA Mental Health Behavioral Center

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The University of Alabama is working to improve behavior and mental health in local elementary, middle, and high schools. UA is creating a new center that would help teachers, parents and most importantly students.

If you’re a parent or an educator you’ve probably asked yourself at least once, why is my student acting out this way at school? Well a new UA center aims to answer that question, then they’ll strive to create a plan of action to resolve any behavioral and mental health concerns specific students who are struggling may have.

The University of Alabama has been on a mission for years to improve education on the K -12 level in schools across the state, including right here in Tuscaloosa, by providing alternative discipline methods to support students with mental health issues.

Recently the board of trustees approved a new type of research center just for interconnected behavioral and mental health systems. This combines existing research and service efforts on campus under one organization to boost schools and prepare educators who can try their methods.

“Connecting kids and their caregivers with services they need with maybe what the school cannot provide. Those are the three main branches of what we are adding in. Suicide prevention, bullying prevention, and that big mental health component, where we can actually start identifying, and see where we can start to give some treatment’, said Sara McDaniel, UA Special Education Associate Professor.

The researchers apart of this center said it’s the first of its kind in the country.

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