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Officials Announce Providence Schools Behavioral Health Initiative

Posted: Mon, February 29, 2016

Last week at George J. West Elementary School, officials gathered to announce a partnership that will help students access the behavioral health care they need. The School Counseling and Support program is a private-public partnership between Providence Schools, The Providence Center and Behavioral Health Solutions that will put Providence Center clinicians in six elementary and middle schools in Providence to provide a range of services to students and families at no cost to the district.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza remarked on the need to “embed these necessary behavioral health services directly in our schools, and at hours that are convenient for students.” He also indicated that he hopes this will mark the beginning of more behavioral health treatment options in schools.

Superintendent Chris Mahar addressed the importance of the program. “Our traditional school district model wasn’t designed to meet the social-emotional needs of every child. With this partnership, we can offer our students the mental health and social service supports they need to overcome obstacles that are holding back their ability to be fully engaged and ready to learn,” said Mahar.

Also present were George J. West Elementary principal Sandra Stuart, Mark Dumas from Behavioral Health Solutions, TPC’s community relations manager Lisa Tomasso, Providence School Board President Nina Pande, and city councilman Michael Correia.