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'School Safety and Mental Health' to be focus of Aug. 13-14 gathering in Asheville

“School Safety and Mental Health: Culture, Prevention and Intervention” will be the theme as members of the Carolina Network for School Mental Health meet Monday, Aug. 13, and Tuesday, Aug. 14, at Western Carolina University’s instructional site at Biltmore Park in Asheville.

The group will gather from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 13 and from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Aug. 14 with an agenda that includes updates on North Carolina school safety and mental health, and collaborative planning time for the development of school threat assessment teams. Also, Ann Marie McBride, a social worker for Buncombe County Schools, will speak about “recovery teams.”

“We hope to have a wide range of mental health agencies, parent groups, law enforcement and schools participate in this important event,” said Phyllis Robertson, head of WCU’s Department of Human Services.

The Carolina Network is an organization of North Carolina and South Carolina schools, universities and mental health providers that are promoting and implementing best practices in school mental health. Several state legislators along with faculty members and students from WCU, Appalachian State University and the University of South Carolina will be attending the event.

The meeting is being hosted by WCU’s Counseling Program and Buncombe County Schools. Attendance is free, but participants are asked to register. For information about registration and to receive an agenda, contact Robertson at

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