District to offer in-school mental health services


(Posted March 11, 2016)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

London City Schools has a new resource for students—in-school mental health services.

On March 8, the school board approved an agreement with The Counseling Source, a therapist owned mental health agency based in Cincinnati. The services are another way the district is striving to give children the best opportunity to learn.

“A child’s mental health affects their ability to focus and concentrate on their schoolwork,” said Melissa Canney, London City Schools’ student support specialist. “No matter what the setting…it’s your physical health and your mental health that play a big part in whether you’re successful or not.”

With the agreement in place, Canney will poll staff at each of the district’s buildings to estimate how many students might be referred for services. The number will determine whether or not the district needs a part-time or full-time counselor on-site.

“All of the buildings are interested in having this available,” Canney said. “There is a sense that we could have a full-time person. There is that much of a need.”

Students across all grade levels are dealing with a variety of issues, she said, including grief, loss, anxiety and self-esteem. Some need help with social skills, like how to share and be respectful. Others need help with conflict resolution. Some come from families in which a parent is incarcerated or struggling with addiction, which can affect the child’s ability to follow a routine, take direction and concentrate.

The Counseling Source will work with students based on self-referrals and referrals from staff and teachers. Once a referral is made, the district will connect the families with The Counseling Source for approvals. Therapy sessions will take place at the school.

The services are provided at no cost to the school district. The company works directly with the family. Most of the families they serve likely will be Medicaid eligible, Canney said. The Counseling Source does not bill private insurance; for families with private insurance, they offer a sliding scale self-pay plan based on income.

“I will be looking for a funding resource to help offset costs for those with private insurance,” Canney said.

The Counseling Source is one of many organizations offering in-school counseling and therapy. Canney said she researched many options and found The Counseling Source to be the best fit.

“They come highly recommended by other school districts,” she said.

In addition to student services, the company offers two free inservices per year for school staff on topics the staff chooses.

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