With one of every five American children suffering from a diagnosable mental illness, more area school districts have expanded teacher training for early intervention.
At least 31 school districts in Westchester utilize Global Compliance Network (GCN) training.
GCN's training includes online and some face-to-face lessons that include emergency response, code of conduct, child abuse and digital security.
For the first time this year, the lessons include a mental health component with questions after the training. Nine lessons take about two hours to complete, according to some local teachers.
Other local school districts have selected alternative teacher training programs. For example, Mamaroneck Union Free School District and Rye City School District are among the districts that utilize the "SafeSchools" online compliance training.
Sarah Derman, a spokeswoman for the Rye City School District said, "We used to use GCN, but now we use SafeSchools Online Training."
White Plains is among the 31 districts using GCN's training. White Plains Schools Superintendent Joseph Ricca said, "There were additions related to mental health awareness; however, I think that most of our teachers would have already indicated that they received similar training.
"We talk a great deal about wellness and social/emotional learning in the White Plains Central School District,'' Ricca said.
White Plains' emergency response lesson is customized and more detailed than the GCN version, according to Ricca, who added, "Our Security Team provided a more comprehensive training."
This also was the first year the White Plains teachers participated in "Stop the Bleed" training detailing medical assistance to deal with physical injuries.
"This was the first year of the StB training with White Plains Hospital," Ricca said. "It has been successful and very well received this far."