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Tipp City, OH: Mental health therapists needed in schools; school counselors not enough

Jan 6, 2019, Dayton (OH) Daily News: Tipp City schools give more focus to emotional and mental health https://www.mydaytondailynews.com/news/local/tipp-city-schools-give-more-focus-emotional-and-mental-health/ARlGdMSYcRaEe6Cv7NiqEJ/ Students’ emotional and mental health is the focus of several initiatives at the Tipp City Exempted Village Schools. The board of education recently heard presentations from school counselors on mental health and wellness and a growing need for related services. It also heard details of a life skills assessment tool that will be introduced in early 2019 to help identify students who may need support in areas of social and emotional wellness. “Our expertise is education, not mental health. As we are seeing more and more students coming to our counselors with mental health needs, it is outside their area of expertise,” said Steve Verhoff, principal at Tippecanoe High School. High school counselor Christine Schmidt and middle school counselor Anne Toohey talked with the board Dec. 17 about mental health issues for students, how more schools are offering services and the benefits a school-based mental health therapist would offer the district. A therapist could offer onsite counseling for individuals and groups as well as provide staff mental health education, they said. “It is common in this area and some of the other area school districts to have a therapist on site” at least a couple of days a week, Toohey said. … Superintendent Gretta Kumpf talked about a Terra Metrics Life Skills Assessment tool the district plans to start, with parental permission, for students in the middle and high schools. The tool is designed to identify students who may be at risk and needing support in “social emotional wellness,” a program description said. …

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