Start School Later, the grass-roots advocacy group started here in Maryland, is meeting with Dr. Anne Mathews-Younes, Director of the Division of Prevention, Traumatic Stress and Special Programs, and Dr. Richard McKeon, Director of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency of the US Dept of Health and Human Services (HHS), tomorrow, July 18th, in Rockville, MD.
Compelling scientific research shows that adolescents’ sleep needs are being dangerously compromised by the extremely early school schedules of many U.S. high schools. Waking at 5:30 a.m. to catch a bus and begin school in the 7 o’clock hour is incompatible with adolescent sleep needs and causing teens to miss out on the crucial sleep they need for physical and mental health and development and optimum academic achievement. Sleep deprivation is strongly linked to anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation, among other health effects.
Dr. Terra Ziporyn Snider, PhD, Start School Later's Co-Director, says, “We’re looking forward to discussing ways federal agencies might be helpful in raising awareness and facilitating policies to ensure safe, healthy school hours for all children. This has been impossible to achieve in many local school systems, where all too often politics and myth trump student health and well-being."
Start School Later is an all-volunteer national coalition working to ensure that all public schools can set hours that are compatible with health, safety, equity and learning. Members attending the SAMHSA meeting include Dr. Terra Ziporyn Snider, Kari Oakes, PA-C and Heather Macintosh, from Maryland, as well as Terry Cralle, RN, of Virginia, and Debbie Coleman, MBA, faculty member at the Miami University (Ohio).
Visit www.startschoollater.net for more information