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Educators Learn Advocacy At School Health Conference

Barnaby Wasson

Mental health and Medicaid were some of the policy topics presented at the annual School Health Conference in Indianapolis this week but therewas also push for more action.

In past years, attendees at the Indiana School Health Network’s conference have learned about new legislation that could affect student health. This year there educators could attend sessions to learn how to advocate for policies they think would work.

Mark Fairchild is the policy director for Covering Kids and Families of Indiana, the organization that holds the conference.

"Instead of worrying about how to take language that someone else created and make it into something that works in their school, to actually create that language in the first place if it’s the right thing for their students," says Fairchild. 

The gathering is a chance for educators from around the state to learn about the latest measures affecting the health of students.

Mark Fairchild says more schools are becoming places where children can access services including mental health.

"Regardless of where the kid is coming from, whether the kid is getting access to Medicaid services, they can have all their mental health services somehow being a point of entry at the school and we can get them connected from there," says Fairchild. 

About 700 teachers, nurses and counselors from around the state attended the conference.