A Mental Health Clinic in School? No, Thanks, Says the School Board

 

On the January night when the superintendent launched employees from Generations Family Health Center, the nonprofit well being care group that was to supply providers in the college, the guests peered out of Zoom screens with cheery smiles.

The plan was for licensed therapists from Generations to work in an area on the college’s third flooring. Students could possibly be referred by lecturers or relations, or might come in themselves, and remedy periods can be scheduled throughout college hours. Therapists would invoice insurance coverage based mostly on a sliding payment scale, utilizing federal funds if mandatory, so there can be no price to the college and little, if any, to the households.

Then a chill entered the room as the board members started peppering them with questions. The guests’ smiles pale.

Would they advise college students on contraception or abortion? (They wouldn’t give medical recommendation, however may focus on if it comes up.) If kids have been referred and didn’t need remedy, would they be pressured to do it? (No.) Would college students be seen by friends going into therapy, exposing them to ridicule and stigma? (Hopefully not.) Could they get remedy with out their dad and mom figuring out about it?

Conceivably, sure, was the reply. By regulation, clinicians in Connecticut can provide six sessions of mental health treatment to minors with out parental consent underneath a slim set of circumstances — if the minor sought therapy, it was deemed clinically mandatory and if requiring parental notification would deter the minor from receiving it.

This provision is used hardly ever; in the close by city of Putnam, which has hosted a school-based psychological well being clinic for 9 years, treating lots of of scholars, no little one has ever been handled with out parental permission, mentioned Michael Morrill, a Putnam college board member.

But it was a significant sticking level for Norm Ferron, one among the Killingly board members, who mentioned the association would “give a scholar much more entry to counseling with out searching for parental approval, and I’m not actual eager on that.”


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