December 1, 2023

Fort Smith Public School System works to offer students the resources they need

Providing mental health services and outreach to students is a key part of the Fort Smith Public School Systems’ day-to-day operations. 

Students having access to the resources they need helps ensure they are getting the best education possible, said Michael Farrell, supervisor of student services for Fort Smith Public Schools. 

“Our number one primary focus is education,” Farrell said. “And we know that it is hard to learn when you’re dealing with mental health issues.”  

Michael Farrell, supervisor of student services for the Fort Smith Public School System, at his office in July 2018.

The district has trained officials who offer guidance in a variety of areas including academics, behavioral issues and career/college concerns and readiness. Mental health awareness and understanding are also weaved into the health curriculum for students. 

In his years with the district, Farrell has seen a change in the way people view mental health as they pay more attention to the subject. Despite the increased interest, there are still struggles.