The Wellness Centers are designed to integrate disparate services from a variety of funding sources and organizations to unify care coordination and service provision through one centralized program and location. Through both on-campus programming and community-based partnerships, students will receive coordinated health/mental health and other support services to maximize student engagement and success. New services will include mental health screening, intervention, counseling, education, and referrals; crisis intervention; linkages and access to a vast network of counseling and mental health treatment/services by Clinicians and other experts; placement assistance and service planning; coordination with health, educational, and other community services; suicide prevention; drop-out prevention; and outreach to high-risk youth. These services will be integrated with existing services including PEI/MHSA, MTSS, and including but not limited to mental health.
The Wellness Centers will also be designed to address the age-appropriate needs of the student population. Each center will have at least two rooms to enable the Clinician, CSC, and other providers to maintain confidentiality and privacy when providing services to students. Wellness Centers will have a warm and inviting atmosphere with soft seating, comfortable couches, bean bag chairs, soft lighting, audio-visual equipment, computer, smartboard, and headphones and a music subscription (Sirius or Spotify, for example) to access soothing sounds/music.
General services provided on school campuses include but are not limited to:
Suicide Prevention, Drop-out Prevention, Placement assistance and service planning for students in need of ongoing services, and Outreach to high-risk youth, including foster youth, youth who identify as LGBTQ+, and youth who have been expelled or suspended from school.
The Wellness Center model specifically improves timely access to mental health services by:
· Establishing a “one-stop” location where needed services can be accessed, similar to a mental
· Locating services where it is convenient to students – where they attend class every day
· Eliminating identified barriers of cost, transportation, and time off work by parents
- Reducing perceived stigma that would prevent students from accessing services through a communication plan designed to address that issue
- Introducing new population-specific mental health awareness education so that students will understand if an issue is related to mental illness early before symptoms can become acute
· Scheduling “office hours” for needed professionals and experts to facilitate easy access
· Enabling access to services by allowing appointments with professionals, if needed
- Ensuring that students know about the center and the services available through a Wellness Peers-led communication plan