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LETTER: We need leaders like Kent, who advocates for students’ mental health

Minnesota needs strong advocates for our students’ mental health, and Sen. Susan Kent brings that voice to the legislature.

Today’s high school students face a variety of emotional, mental, and physical stresses ranging from pressure to get good grades to online harassment to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Therefore, it is important that our students have access to resources to overcome these types of challenges.

Sadly, Minnesota schools are lacking in one of these key resources: counselors. These professionals work with students on everything from career readiness to identifying signs of depression and are commonly seen as a tool to tackling the state's achievement gap between white students and students of color. However, Minnesota has consistently ranked as having one of the worst students to counselors ratios in the country with an average of nearly 800 students per counselor.

Sen. Susan Kent carried legislation to appropriate $13 million to increase the number of counselors in Minnesota schools. Given her strong leadership on this issue, I urge you to vote for her this November. It is important that we to have advocates like her in the legislature in order to support our students.

Paul Tuveson