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As a school nurse practicing in Oregon's largest and busiest urban/suburban area, I can verify the need for early identification and intervention. Each year I see more and more children (I serve K-12) needing some level of social-emotional-mental health support. This is the continuum we school nurses use; often problems first manifest as social/behavioral challenges and, if unaddressed, move along the continuum in severity. Early identification and appropriate interventions do work; often such measures make all the difference between success in school (and beyond) and/or repeated problems of escalating seriousness. Though I believe we do need facilities such as the one proposed in Junction City, we certainly would save so much in human capital, social capital, and financial capital if we invested more "up front" toward prevention. Prevention has in any area always proven more effective, efficient, wise, and humane than the other strategies our society is so enamored of.
posted 2 years, 10 months ago
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