NEW ULM: The District 88 School Board received an update on mental health supports and programs.
A newly formed district mental health team was formed this school year. The purpose of the team is to coordinate and provide mental health services to students, families, and staff.
Assistant Director Troy Guentz, the team’s coordinator, said that in terms of mental health, baselines are being met, but the team is looking to close additional gaps and find ways to accentuate programs.
District advisory committee and mental health support team member Mimi Chough said the district was looking at a three-tier mental health support system.
The first level was delivered to all students. This included the promotion of positive social, emotional and behavioral skills and general well-being.
The second level is for students who need a little help. Chough said this is for students who come to the counselor’s office for help or tutoring. This could take the form of small group level interventions and tutoring or low intensity classroom support.
The third level is for high-need situations. Chough said this is for students who are having trouble staying in school. Students who need individual treatment for significant distress due to a crisis or functional impairment. This level could include therapy or a higher level of care.
Chough said one gap in the system is making sure parents are aware of what’s available in schools. Chough wanted to spread the word about mental health programming in the community to ensure that families who needed certain services knew how to get them.
Guentz said the school needed to better inform the community about what they are offering. This means using social media or newsletters to bridge the gap.