This story is featured in MHA's community benefit report.
Appleton Area Health partnered with the Appleton Elementary School and Lac Qui Parle Middle and High School to implement a school behavioral health program. The hospital provides a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) eight hours per week to the schools to enhance and provide behavioral and mental health services to children.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated anxiety and depression for school age children and adolescents and AAH is committed to improving access and availability of these services. Goals of the school behavioral health partnership include:
- Identifying at-risk students through the development of a screening plan.
- Developing a communication plan with strategies that lead to enhanced sharing of information and integration of care coordination within the primary and behavioral health care setting and schools.
- Developing a telemedicine program that allows for students to receive telemedicine services at school and/or in the home.
In addition to these goals, Appleton Area Health is working with the schools to provide education to Micronesian families and students about mental health services in the community and at school. Education is provided in the Chuukese language in order to bridge the communication gap regarding the benefits of mental health and the importance of both physical and mental health.