BURLEY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) The Cassia School District is making it easy for students and families to have access to mental health counseling over the summer, it’s called the CONNECT program.
“Where students and families can connect to mental health services in our community, and get some free mental health counseling,” said Liza Castaneda, a school counselor at Burley Junior High School.
Through the CONNECT program, students and their families are matched up with counselors who are the best fit for them.
“They will call this phone number and it will go to it’s kind of an insurance company, it’s basically a student assistance program, so the call goes to that call center and then they link our students and families to licensed mental health providers in our area,” said Castaneda.
The program is completely free for families in the Cassia County School District, and she wishes everyone would take advantage of it.
“I was just talking to my colleague this morning, and we were saying that we almost would love for every single student to take advantage of CONNECT this summer and just kind of process through how strange this all has been, I think that’s very important and very valuable,” said Castaneda.
She says it’s normal to be feeling anxious and overwhelmed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and she hopes programs like CONNECT can help the students through them.
“Process any anxieties and grief that’s come up and loss that’s come up and help get the kids focused on their resiliency factors, and get them geared up and ready to return,” said Castaneda.