Local News


Community leaders concerned for children's mental health amid increasing violence at schools

Mental Health
Posted at 5:26 PM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-13 00:09:08-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Young people are struggling to deal with their emotional health, and finding ways to reach kids in crisis is key to preventing tragic, violent incidents.

Keith Bowen is hoping to change that by shining a light on mental health at his Art and Technical Educational Institute.

Bowen doesn't mince words when it comes to counseling kids and parents about mental health and violence.

"A lot of kids have problems before they even leave the house," Bowen said.

With the help of therapy, seminars and interactive learning, Bowen has become an expert when it comes to addressing youth mental health through his art and technical education foundation.

"I did a seminar on Friday, and I asked the kids how many are going through things at home that no one knows about," he said, "and 85 percent raised their hands. Well now they take it to school and try to learn."

Bowen says that's the problem — youth today have no outlet to release their feelings, oftentimes leading them to turn to violence.

"A lot of these teachers talk to these kids and they really try to help them. When kids come to school, you leave your kids with us, so if they aren't respecting us, what do we think they're doing at home?" he said. "You still have to have your kids having respect for adults."

Brigid Duffy with the Clark County Juvenile Justice System says she sees the results firsthand.

"The offenses that we have seen committed on school property are much more intense in their violence," Duffy said. "They are being directed at adults. There's a lack of respect for authority."

While the cause of school violence can vary, Duffy says untreated mental health issues are the root of the problem.

"In the last two years, the complexity have increased and, I have to say, I completely believe it's because of mental health issues in our children," Duffy said.

Duffy says her office has worked to combat the mental health crisis in our valley for years. She says there's still a lack of resources, and it's going to take the entire community to solve it.

"The earlier we can get in to intervene for the underlying issues and trauma that our children are facing, the better we will have the rehabilitative piece so those children can go on and be successful and we have less victims in the community," Duffy said.

Find out more about the Keith Bowen Art and Technical Educational Institute here.