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Eagle Cty, CO: $400K for more school counselors; 'overwhelming need' cited

Aug 31, 2018, Aspen Times: Basalt High School gets funding for mental health position for 2018-19 school year https://www.aspentimes.com/news/basalt-high-school-gets-funding-for-mental-health-position-for-2018-19-school-year/ When a mental health advisory committee with representation from the Roaring Fork and Eagle River valleys was formed, its members discussed numerous issues pertaining to the topic of mental health, which has already generated a national discussion. The committee, which includes health professionals, parents and those who have been affected by mental health, identified many pertinent concerns for schools in the neighboring valleys, but highlighted one in particular. School-based counselors was the overwhelming need,” Eagle County Commissioner Jeanne McQueeney said. “Schools are really in charge of educating our children. They’re not really experts in mental health, and what they needed was people who could respond when kids are in crisis.” Last week, the Eagle County Board of Commissioners assigned $400,000 from the county’s Mental Health Fund to assist in getting more school-based counselors in Eagle and Roaring Fork Valley schools. The Roaring Fork School District received $80,000, and subsequently secured a mental health position at Basalt High School for the 2018-19 academic year, working in conjunction with the Aspen Hope Center. Glenwood Springs High School and Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale already have similar positions…. According to a press release from the Roaring Fork School District, last spring Basalt High School identified 84 students, out of a student population of 481, [17%] who needed therapy but were not receiving it because of either financial, logistical or transportation issues….

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