By: Josh Birch
Updated: May 28, 2018 05:52 PM EDT
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Trillium to offer school-based therapy services to schools to treat mental health
BEAUFORT, N.C. (WNCT) – Trillium Health Resources is offering school districts across the East the opportunity to have school-based therapy services at no cost to the schools.
Trillium uses Medicaid and state funds to pay for the cost to help treat mental health issues inside of schools.
“Children are in school for about 6 hours a day so it’s a great opportunity to get kids in rural areas engaged in treatment when they have mental health issues,” said Cindy Ehlers, VP of Clinical Operations at Trillium.
In mid-May, Trillium sent out requests for proposals (RFPs) to schools that don’t already have school-based therapy services. Those counties including the following: Brunswick, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus (joining the Trillium catchment area on July 1), Craven, Gates, Hertford, Jones, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Pender, and Washington.
“The idea is the therapist, although they aren’t a school employee, is embedded on campus,” Ehlers said.
The service comes at the perfect time as schools deal with major problems including addiction and violence.
“I actually read it twice,” said Carteret Co. Schools Superintendent Mat Bottoms about the RFP.
There are around 8,900 students in Carteret Co. Schools. Currently, counselors try to meet the mental health needs of students on top of all their other responsibilities.
“You want to make sure you’re available when those students are in crisis, and sometimes our counselors are in the middle of classes,” he said.
Bottoms said without Trillium’s help, adding mental health counselors in schools could cost the district more than $500,000.
Interested school districts must respond to Trillium’s RFP before June 29.