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Darien Schools to hire mental health director for students

Darien Schools to hire mental health director for students
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DARIEN — Darien Public Schools will soon be hiring a director of mental health to address students’ mental health needs in the wake of a tragic year.

The Board of Education approved the new position in a vote during Tuesday night’s meeting, with five in favor and two abstaining.

The mental health director is part of a larger strategy to address student mental health systematically, responsible for designing district policies and working with the curriculum team to create a comprehensive mental health support system from pre-K through high school.

The director will also act as a liaison between the school system and outside mental health experts and community groups.

The position was first proposed in August as part of Darien Public Schools’ plan to address growing concerns for student wellbeing after the deaths of three Darien High School students last spring.

Assistant Superintendent Shirley Klein described it as “a thread that goes through all our schools” at a discussion of the position during a Sept. 13 board meeting.

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