School Mental Health Services
School Mental Health Programs:
Our children spend a large amount of time in schools, making it the most accessible place to provide support. The School Mental Health program has Licensed Mental Health Providers in panhandle schools in order to better meet the needs of our youth.
There are many reasons why families may not be able to access MH services during the business day, and this is a way for us to help bridge that gap. School staff identify children and start the referral process for the specialist to come in and observe and communicate with families. Mental Health Specialists provide behavioral consultation to classroom staff, special education program staff and/or parents. School Mental Health specialists work with staff and families to identify the BH/MH need/concern and help come up with a plan to address them, whether that is helping facilitate a referral to outside services, on site/in-school counseling services, creating classroom/school behavior plans, and working with parents to strengthen parenting skills/providing behavioral tools.
Therapeutic Consultation is a process of assessing the concerns of staff and parents to determine the best ways to help the student be successful. It looks at the whole child: emotional, behavioral, psychological and/or psychiatric well-being. This is typically a team approach, as information from all of the child’s environments are looked at and then the team (school staff, parents, all specialists/professionals currently involved in the child’s well-being) come together to create a plan of action.
The Hope Squad program is a school-based peer support team that partners with local mental health agencies. Peers select students who are trustworthy and caring individuals to join the Hope Squad. Squad members are trained to watch for at-risk students, provide friendship, identify suicide-warning signs, and seek help from adults.
HOPE Squad members are NOT taught to act as counselors, but are educated on recognizing suicide warning signs and how to properly and respectfully report concerns to an adult. Once invited to be a HOPE Squad member, students must get a permission form signed by their parents and go through training.
Mental Health Topics/Web Resources
Depression in youth: https://www.psychiatryadvisor.com/home/depression-advisor/depression-in-youth-underdiagnosed-and-deadly
Anxiety in youth: https://www.apa.org/monitor/2019/12/combat-anxiety
Stress and Burnout: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/high-octane-women/201311/the-tell-tale-signs-burnout-do-you-have-them
Children with Sensory Sensitivity: https://childmind.org/article/sensory-processing-issues-explained/
Supporting Our Youth: http://dhhs.ne.gov/Documents/Supporting-Child-and-Family-Wellbeing.pdf
Behavior or Conduct Problems in Children: https://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/behavior.html
Mental Health Awareness: https://www.mhanational.org/mental-health-month