Mental Health Assistance

Schools play a major role in promoting the emotional wellness of children.

Richland School District has partnered with community organizations, mental health professionals and parents to provide a variety of resources to help students in crisis and ongoing mental health challenges.

Addressing Student Mental Health

Assessing & Monitoring Student Needs

Social-emotional skills such as goal setting, empathy and managing emotions are critical for students of all ages to be successful academically as well as in their lives and relationships. Beginning in the spring of 2021, the district began using the Behavior Intervention Monitoring Assessment System (Second Edition), or BIMAS-2, to help gauge where our students are in their social-emotional learning and help them grow. 

The information from BIMAS-2 will be used to assist individual students whose responses indicate they may be in crisis while also helping schools build and support programming that addresses social-emotional learning. Learn more about BIMAS-2.

Supporting Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)

New SEL curriculum was adopted in the spring of 2023. Pre-K and Elementary will be using PurposeFull People, which teaches skills for life success and character education. This curriculum is designed to include these skills while building a foundation of strong relationships among students. 

Secondary students will be using CharacterStrong. This curriculum is designed to build social and emotional competence, develop character, and cultivate strong educator-student relationships. Advisory time will be available to students on Fridays beginning next school year. Individual schools will reach out the families with more information near the start of the school year. Learn more about CharacterStrong and PurposeFull People.

Crisis Intervention

Each RSD school has a school-based crisis intervention team comprised of the assigned school psychologist, school nurse, school counselor(s), and a building administrator.  In addition, the district's Mental Health Assistance Team (MHAT) members serve as a flight team to provide additional support through school-based teams during an event-based crisis. They also support school-based teams when students are being assessed and may indicate they need immediate intervention.

MHAT is focused on developing, implementing and maintaining comprehensive and accessible programs and services for students and families, from social and emotional health assessments and learning to crisis intervention and referrals to outside services.

Hazel Health

Richland School District has partnered with Hazel Health to provide remote mental health therapy and physical health services to students at no cost to them or their families. All students are eligible for six mental health teletherapy sessions at no cost. Visits can help students with everything from anxiety, depression, and grief to peer and family relationships and bullying. Learn more about Hazel Health.

BJ Sorensen
Executive Director of Behavioral Health

Michelle Sorensen
District Wellness Coordinator

Angie Withers
District Wellness Coordinator

Community Resources

Local mental health care providers and agencies are crucial partners in supporting our students and families. Youth Access and Resource Program (YARP) was created to provide individuals and families with local and national behavioral and mental health resources. YARP compiles a list of Mental Health Counseling Resources with provider availability that is updated bi-weekly.

Mental Health Resources