ChildSavers recently added Thomas C. Boushall Middle, George W. Carver Elementary, and J.H. Blackwell Elementary to its school-based therapy program.
School-based therapy increases access to trauma-informed mental health services by embedding clinicians in schools. ChildSavers’ partnership with Richmond Public Schools launched during the 2017-2018 school year with funding from the Robins Foundation Community Innovation Grant.
The nonprofit now serves 10 schools within the Richmond Public Schools system with therapists in Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle and Preschool, Fairfield Court Elementary, Woodville Elementary, Henry L. Marsh III Elementary (formerly George Mason Elementary), Overby-Sheppard Elementary and Oakgrove-Bellemeade Elementary.
“Providing mental health services at school breaks down barriers and allows more students to access trauma-informed therapy,” said Robert Bolling, ChildSavers CEO and president. “The program is also an important opportunity to bring mental health resources to students of color, specifically Black youth. This is important work and we’re proud of our ongoing collaboration with Richmond Public Schools.”
ChildSavers uses school-based therapy as a critical tool to address racial disparities in mental health services among adolescents. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), only one-in-three African Americans who need mental health care receives it. Black Americans are also more likely to be exposed to factors that increase the risk for developing a mental health condition, such as homelessness and exposure to violence.
Ninety-one percent of the youth served in the school-based program are Black.
Therapy sessions are held via Zoom to align with Richmond Public Schools’ virtual learning plan during the pandemic. Teachers, staff, and parents can refer students to the service and therapists are currently accepting new clients.
“Expanding the therapy program helps us create safer and more inclusive school cultures,” said Jason Kamras, Richmond Public Schools superintendent. “We see positive results in academics and social well-being in our schools with therapists. Not only are clinicians providing critical therapeutic services, but ChildSavers’ school-based teams are also serving as valuable resources for teachers and staff by helping them navigate challenging situations.”
For more information about ChildSavers, visit www.childsavers.org.
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