School Based Mental Health
In-clinic & virtual sessions
We are excited to announce that Grand Peaks’ School Based Mental Health project will expand access to mental health services for students in the Fremont County School District. There will be offices and therapists embedded in both North and South Fremont High Schools.
By providing face-to-face and virtual mental health services, Grand Peaks will be able to address the emotional and social needs of students, help create a school environment that supports student’s academic achievement, and foster social-emotional connection with others.
Why We Are Expanding Our Services to Schools
The Growing Need for Mental & Behavioral Health Services in Schools
Our Specialists Can Help
The Role We Can Play In Your School
Grand Peaks has been providing primary care for medically underserved communities in Fremont County for over a decade. Many of our board members and staff live and work in this community. We exist to improve lives in our community.
We have recently seen a significant unmet need for behavioral health services for adolescents. Many kids are consistently reporting that they do not have a trusted adult they can talk to. They also report having depressed and anxious feelings, increased risk of suicide attempts, suicidal ideation and psychological distress.
The past year has been challenging for our students. They have endured learning disruptions, social isolation and high levels of parental stress in balancing work and schooling this past year.
Grand Peaks sees the need and we are ready and willing to help address these concerns by implementing school based mental health services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only caused added stress, but it has created difficulty in accessing mental health care.
As mental health providers, we are seeing a surge in new patients. We have community mental health providers throughout East Idaho, but there can be significant barriers to accessing those services.
Some patients have complained about not having transportation to and from appointments and others complain of difficulties in scheduling appointments.
Community mental health providers are operating at capacity and doing the best they can to meet increasing community needs, but wait lists for appointments are measured in weeks and months rather than days from the time someone is calling for help.
Adolescents and their families are most likely to seek help during a crisis or when anxiety about a problem is heightened, but because of the long wait times we are often seeing missed opportunities to help. These barriers create a gap in access to mental health services and by embedding the mental health services in the schools we hope to help close that gap.
Services will be accessible to all students. Working in a partnership with school staff and administration, mental health services will be integrated within the school culture. Students will have an on-site therapist for safe, high-quality mental health services to address emotional and social wellness that supports their academic achievement and social-emotional connections with others.
Referrals may be sent to the Grand Peaks school-based therapist by school staff members, administrators, school counselors, families, and students. If you feel the student could benefit from seeing one of Grand Peaks’ school-based therapists please contact Grand Peaks St. Anthony clinic to schedule your appointment or you may contact your school principal, teacher, or guidance counselor.
When a student has been referred for school-based mental health services the guardian meets with the therapist to establish a need, create a routine schedule, and recommend any additional services that may be helpful to the family.
Once a student registers as a patient, they will be able to receive services without a parent present. Meetings with parents will be held as needed at their convenience in person or via zoom. This will be more convenient for students and families as it causes less disruptions to school and work schedules.
When students attend mental health services off-site, they typically miss several hours of school. With Grand Peaks Mental Health services in the school, we can call students down to the clinic and have them back to class within 45-50 minutes — so while they are often using school time to be seen, their overall lost seat time is significantly less compared to off-site visits. Parents and guardians also don’t miss out on important income from work to transport their students back and forth to appointments. Especially for families with more than one child, this time and cost can add up quickly.
Additionally, our mental health services encourage students to take responsibility for their own personal mental health, which is especially important as they age.
Services will be delivered using a trauma-informed approach and cultural humility that respects the diversity of experiences, backgrounds, beliefs, language, interpersonal styles and behaviors of all students. Each adolescent is the expert in their own experience. The providers will be skilled in expert, age-appropriate care tailored to the developmental level and unique strengths, needs, and concerns of each student.
The clinic, embedded within the school, will offer a welcoming environment that includes affirming messaging. Once the student’s mental health begins to improve and a clear plan is in place that both the student and the mental health professional understand, students will end the planned mental health care.
There is no limit per se on the number of visits a student may have with the mental health provider. Rather, the number of visits depends on how the student is progressing. Many students may show sufficient improvement after just two or three (or one!) visits and will only see the mental health professional very briefly. Others may follow up numerous times before finally showing enough improvement for the mental health professional to end the planned care. Students will be referred back to the mental health professional if problems worsen or new problems arise.
The school-based mental health services will be provided directly by Grand Peaks. The mental health professional will use a private room and other private space to provide counseling and guidance, diagnosis treatment, and coping mechanisms to deal with mood, mental health, and substance use issues.
The mental health professional will also facilitate peer groups and family counseling sessions. Whether you are insured,self pay, under-insured or low income we offer discounts and affordable rates. Private insurances and Medicaid will be billed for services rendered.
Studies have shown that schools who have implemented similar programs have seen improvements in school attendance, less tardiness, improved GPAs, improved graduation rates, and a decrease in behavior problems.
In addition, the program promotes improved psycho-social health and student success. It provides greater accessibility for families to receive counseling, leads to increased communication between family and school, and allows for students to work with therapists in the environment they often struggle the most; school.
Grand Peaks is excited about serving this community with this new and exciting program. If you have additional questions please feel free to contact Grand Peaks Behavioral Health at 208-624-4100.
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