LEBANON, Ind.– State leaders are talking about mental health more in light of school shootings and threats across the country. On Thursday, Governor Holcomb announced his 2019 agenda and part of it proposes legislation requiring districts to contract directly with local mental health providers.
Lebanon Community School Corporation (LCSC) hopes to offer that service to all of its students. They are thankful they have not had to deal with any serious threats, but they still want to be proactive.
The Lebanon Community School Corporation Board of Trustees approved a one-year partnership proposal with InWell to expand mental health services to students. The partnership will place a full-time mental health specialist at each school in the district. InWell will also provide three full-time life skills specialists to provide group training at no cost. The goal of the partnership is to identify students in need of services to be identified earlier and make it possible to access treatment if needed.
In addition to the nine full-time employees, InWell will dedicate four hours per month for youth in need of psychiatric evaluations and medication management. For all services, InWell will bill third-party insurance when possible, or the student’s family directly for services that are not reimbursed or covered.
InWell has been providing service to LCSC students since 2013. While groups are already forming, the partnership officially begins on January 20.
“It’s our job to educate the whole child,” said Jen Todderud, director of communications for Lebanon Community School Corporation.
More than 3,500 students in Lebanon spend most of their week in the classroom so when they are not at home, the district wants to help meet all of their needs.
“If they have something going on that’s bigger than what they are working on their classroom that day than that’s going to impact what they are learning,” Todderud said.
The administration found there was a growing need for full-time therapists. Part of their budget will help pay for six starting in January. They will work five days a week during the school day and sometimes offer evening and weekend hours.
“[They’re] maybe in abusive situations or again maybe seeing someone overdose so its really just a wide spectrum of things,” said Lynette Clark, director of InWell.
Clark said their goal is to increase and improve access to care. InWell is also working on partnerships with Western Boone County Community School Corporation and Traders Point Christian Academy.