Since April 2016, Bay View Middle School in the Howard-Suamico School District has had licensed therapists working in the school from the American Foundation of Counseling Services. Having therapists based
Throughout the program’s first year, we have seen the benefits of school-based counseling as it helps students overcome many barriers in accessing mental health care. Here are five barriers school-based counseling can help address:
Lack of insurance, or inadequate insurance coverage: In addition to being covered by most insurance plans, the agency’s sliding scale fee gives families the ability to afford therapy even if insurance does not cover the expense.
Struggling to take time off from work and school to attend sessions: Having therapists at the school allows students to have sessions during the school day, without the need for parents to take time off to get them to sessions.
Anxiety of going to a counseling agency or clinic: Therapists meet students in a private, discreet room at the school, keeping a more familiar, comfortable atmosphere for students.
Hesitance from families to put their children into therapy: For most parents, agreeing to put their children in therapy is a big step. One of our counselors is on a loop with her students, staying with one class from seventh through eighth grade. Being with the students and their families for two years allows her to journey with them through transitions and new developments.
Limited communication surrounding the student’s progress: Communication among parents, school staff and therapists creates a whole community of care for students. While updates during treatment help ease parents’ fears, it can also lead to faster improvements for the student.
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