A renewed contract would keep giving students access to help dealing with mental health issues.
Members of the Curriculum, Instruction and Technology Committee of the Warren County School District Board of Directors agreed to forward the renewal on to the full board for approval. Director of Secondary Education Amanda Hetrick said the current agreement with Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems fulfills the district's needs.
Officials have been pleased with the agreement, Hetrick said, and would like to continue it. A copy of the agreement on the district website stipulated officials must obtain parental permission for students to receive help.
An executive summary also on the site stated the district has included a school-based mental health therapist in its student assistance program since November, 2009. That therapist has supported students needing services beyond those that are typically provided by the student assistance liaisons, according to the summary.
These liaisons, which the summary describes as bachelor level mental health workers, meet with the SAP team to identify the needs of students referred for services and provide some educational programming to students. In comparison, the summary states a master's level clinician serves as the mental health therapist and:
works with students who need education in understanding their mental health issues
refers students to inpatient and outpatient services as needed
provides group sessions on topics such as grief, adolescent issues, dealing with divorce and other issues that students face in daily living.
"This also helps to reduce the amount of time that students might be absent from school to seek treatment for mental health concerns that can be handled through a few sessions or education," according to the summary. "We would like to continue this service for the 2010-2011 school year."
Approximately 50 students have used the individual sessions provided by the program since its advent last year, the summary claimed. The therapist has operated groups which have included additional students, according to the summary.
Under financial implications, the summary said the program uses funding from the Accountability Block Grant. It does not require any district funds, the summary stated.