COVID-19 forced schools to go virtual in March 2020, creating high-stress levels for students, families, and educators. As schools plan to reopen for the 20/21 school year, meeting the safety, social and emotional wellness needs of all students will be a priority.
Sacramento County Public Health and the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) today announced the launch of their groundbreaking partnership that over the next several years will place mental health clinicians in every school in the county and help make schools “centers of wellness” in their communities.
To address student mental health, clinicians will provide direct mental health services and work with school staff to integrate social-emotional learning and relationship building strategies into the entire school community.
By bringing the education and health systems together as partners, the vision is to create a continuum of care for mental health and wellness throughout Sacramento County’s education system. Early intervention will help eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline, reduce the number of “system- involved” adults and adolescents, and mitigate the onset and impact of mental health disorders in Sacramento County.
Clinicians working in each school will be SCOE employees supported with sustainable funding from Medi-Cal, and the program will have a rigorous evaluation drawing on extensive data from the mental health landscape and Sacramento County districts and schools.
“Placing clinicians in schools in Sacramento County will help identify and address the mental health and wellness needs of our students. We hope that within the next several years, every school in the County will have its own clinician.”Peter Beilenson, M.D., Director of the Department of Health Services
Goals of the partnership include:
- Improved academic achievement
- Reduced suspensions
- Reduced chronic absenteeism
- Decreased referrals to Special Education
- Improved early intervention and prevention approaches leading to a decline in the need for intense clinical interventions over time
- An increase in early identification of mental health disorders/indicators, and therefore an opportunity to address those concerns as early as possible
Schools selected for the initial cohort:
- Ethel Baker ES: 597 enrollment (Sac City USD)
- Isleton Elementary School: 170 enrollment (River Delta USD)
- Noralto Elementary: 478 enrollment (Twin Rivers USD)
- Samuel Kennedy Elementary School: 985 enrollment (Elk Grove USD)
- Taylor Street Elementary School: 209 enrollment (Robla SD)
- Woodbridge: 581 enrollment (Twin Rivers USD)
- Mills Middle School: 769 enrollment (Folsom Cordova USD)
- James Rutter Middle School: 927 enrollment (Elk Grove USD)
- Cordova HS: 1855 enrollment (Folsom Cordova USD)
- Hiram Johnson HS: 1661 enrollment (Sac City USD)