An Innovative Partnership to Address Mental Health Challenges — at School

I wanted to share a letter sent to all South Milwaukee School District families last week, detailing an innovative partnership to tackle mental health challenges … where kids are.

Mental illness is real, and it does not discriminate based on age. I’m so glad to see the school district understands that, and it taking real steps to help those in need. Well done!

Here is the letter …

Dear SDSM Families –

We are pleased to reach out to our school community about a new partnership between SaintA and the School District of South Milwaukee. SaintA’s mission is to facilitate equity, learning, healing and wellness by restoring the connections that help children and families thrive. SaintA has extensive experience providing school-based mental health services and is one of Wisconsin’s largest and most successful non-profit, non-sectarian human service agencies.

As part of our partnership with SaintA, two therapists will now be available on site at all six schools within the district. The therapists will have two main roles: to work with our staff members to implement preventative strategies related to mental health practices in schools, and to work directly with students after receiving written permission from parents/guardians.

While many students currently receive clinical mental health support, accessing these services outside of school hours can be challenging. This partnership will allow students to receive mental health services during the day at their school. Billing for clinical mental health services will be arranged through the family’s insurance, Medicaid, or Badgercare, just as with services from other health care providers. 

All members of the school community – families, teachers, and administrators – are encouraged to work with the office staff at their student’s school to determine next steps. If a student would benefit from receiving clinical mental health services at school around social, emotional and behavioral challenges, a member of the pupil services team will work with the family. Services may include a mental health assessment, individual therapy or other collaborative services. 

We are very excited about the potential benefits for students and families as a result of this new partnership. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions that you may have.

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