Educators from south-central Minnesota and across the state are taking part in Thursday’s MEA conference.

Education Minnesota President Denise Specht explained that this year’s conference will focus, in part, on mental health because, “We have a lot of students that are coming to our schools with a lot of needs, and many times unmet needs. So these sessions are going to be meant to help the educators working with our students get more tools in their toolbox.”

Specht added that many districts don’t have enough staff to support students in need and there is a strong need for more school counselors and social workers.

The conference will also address social media and the effect it’s having on adolescents.