Carson City School District administration building.
The Carson City School District has been trying to break through the barriers of mental and behavioral health issues by connecting students and families with new resources.
Michelle Cleveland, the district’s Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education) coordinator, said CCSD has begun its fourth of its five-year funding period to support its work in social services. The $10 million grant has placed mental health professionals and social workers at all 10 Carson City schools.
“All of those folks are available to all schools whenever they are experience trouble at school, from home, at high school and middle school, from their peers, we have lots of folks to help,” Cleveland said.
Recently, the district signed a contract with Care Solace, a vendor that connects families with anonymous providers to discuss mental health or substance use treatment needs through telehealth if a child is experiencing bullying or alcohol issues. The option is available for those who might not want to approach a school social worker directly, Cleveland said.
Cleveland also hired a clinical psychologist this year to help students receive therapeutic services and keep them in the classroom if they’re experiencing disciplinary difficulties, she said.
Also, the district is working with a mental health contractor to provide support at the district’s sites to help with students struggling with the idea of suicide. Staff members also are offering a brochure in English and Spanish listing the names of community providers for families seeking behavioral, psychological or social services professionals.
“We are doing all of these things to support our kids with social-emotional curriculum at all our of our school sites,” Cleveland said. “We are just supporting them in every avenue so our students are not missing school. We want them to know they’re welcome and heard.”