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November 26, 2014

Kasson-Mantorville district to contract for School Linked Mental Health services

K-M counselors Karen Besch (elementary), Shelly Bielen (middle school) and Alyssa Trow (high school) and social workers Lindsey Campbell (elementary and middle school) and Kerri Klingfus (high school) gave a presentation at the regular board meeting last Monday night on the need for school linked mental health services.

The need for school linked mental health services is nothing new to school districts. Such services were first incorporated in school districts in 2005. Rochester schools and Stewartville are area districts that presently have mental health services in place.

What counselors now know is that healthy students make better learners and that a child who succeeds in school is more likely to be healthy. It can be challenging to teach a student who cannot focus on school work (possibly due to depression or anxiety).

School-linked mental health is a partnership between schools and community mental health organizations. It builds on the existing mental health services already in place such as nursing, school counseling, school psychology and social work to provide comprehensive mental health services to children and adolescents. In other words the service supplements school-employed staff services.

Some of the objectives include: Increase access to School Linked Mental Health (SLMH) services across the state; serve students who are underinsured, underserved or not insured at all; improve overall functioning of students; improve early identification of mental health needs; and reduce barriers to mental health treatment (financial/insurance, transportation, child care, waiting list, etc).

The service is a collaboration between Fernbrook Family Services (the grant holder) and South Central Human Relations Center (SCHRC), the service provider. There will be placement of one full time equivalent district-wide mental health professional staffed through SCHRC. This person will divide time equally between all three buildings and serve identified students K-12.

Students are identified by K-M school counselors and social workers. According to the K-M counselors, identified students....PURCHASE THE DCI TODAY TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE.

 

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By Randy Carlsen

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