School-Based Mental Health Services

School-based mental health services are key to the Child Guidance Center programs. School-based mental health services are outpatient mental health/early intervention services delivered in schools to improve access to mental health services for children and families who would not otherwise have access.

Therapists are master's level, licensed mental health professionals employed, clinically supervised and supported by Orchard Place - Child Guidance Center. Determining which child a school-based therapist serves and where depends on the family's ability to access the Center for service.

Common barriers to service access include:

  • Lack of reliable transportation
  • Childcare issues
  • Employment issues
  • Unfamiliarity with the community
  • Language and cultural issues
  • Stigma related to seeking mental health services

In these cases, the children in need of service might not have access to therapy if the school-based mental health services were not available.

School-based mental health services go beyond the direct delivery of outpatient mental health services. Therapists provide on-site consultation and training for school staff in the field of children's mental health. They establish and maintain links between educators, mental health professionals and human service resources, all of whom support the family and enhance the academic and functional development of children who face school failure due to mental health problems or diagnosed mental disorders.

School-based mental health services expand the school's team of professionals who understand the range of children's developmental needs. Child therapists are an important part of the school's Family Support Teams or Behavioral Intervention Cadres that create and manage comprehensive prevention/early intervention care plans for children who have or are at risk of mental health problems.

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