RSD is launching a new student wellness program aimed at getting students access to mental health care they need quickly and effectively, whether at home or at school, and at no cost to them and their families.
The district has partnered with Hazel Health to provide remote teletherapy services to all RSD students. With Hazel, students can immediately speak with a mental health clinician from home or at school, in multiple languages. At-home access to the program is currently available, with the ability for schools to facilitate those appointments in the following weeks.
"Students are reporting they are more stressed and struggling with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues more than ever, yet it can take several months to get the mental health assistance they need,” says Tory Christensen, RSD's Executive Director of Behavioral Health Services. "This partnership will now bring those mental health professionals to the student and their family when they need it."
Mental health services available to students through Hazel Health will include
- Scheduled short-term therapy visits: All students are eligible for six (6) teletherapy sessions at no cost. Visits can help students with anxiety, depression, and grief to peer and family relationships and bullying.
- Care management to local resources: Referrals to local providers for continuity of care.
- Coordination: Communication with families, local health providers, and school staﬀ.
Offering teletherapy services to students is part of RSD's multi-pronged effort to address student mental health needs.
- Mental health and student assistance professionals have joined the staffs at Hanford & Richland high schools and two middle schools, as well as began serving students in the district's choice schools. Funding, including grants and donations, came from Catholic Charities Serving Central Washington and Lutheran Community Services Northwest
- In partnership with parent trainers and the University of Washington School Mental Health Assessment Research & Training (SMART) Center, the district began offering “Asking is Caring.” A suicide prevention training put on by parents for parents on how to better support our children and youth. Currently these trainings are available through October 2022.