Fairfield-Suisun school board leaders are making an effort to expand access to mental health care and resources for families and staff by providing “an added layer of support,” Sheila McCabe, assistant superintendent of educational services, said in a press release.
The district recently selected Care Solace, an organization “determined to calm the chaos of mental healthcare coordination,” she added, to complement district services. The agency offers a web-based tool that makes it easier to connect with community-based and virtual mental healthcare providers and programs.
The decision comes as a 2018 National Education Association finding determined that the U.S. public education system did not address student mental health in a comprehensive way. The NEA said at least 10 million students, ages 13 to 18, need some sort of professional help with a mental health condition, among them depression, anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and bipolar disorder.
“Social-emotional support has been identified by staff, students, and families as one of the top priorities,” McCabe said. “We could not be more thrilled to partner with Care Solace to expand the support for all members of our learning community.”
With Care Solace, families and staff gain access to a dedicated “Care Concierge team,” with experts available around-the-clock to guide users through processes related to insurance, provider availability, wait times and scheduling, she noted.
Care Solace’s care navigation system uses technology and “a vast database of
behavioral and mental healthcare resources to find carefully vetted therapists and programs in minutes,” she added.
More than 90,000 school staff and parents at partnering school communities of Care Solace used the prescreening tool, with at least 40,000 students receiving mental healthcare support as a result. The service has helped an estimated total of 4,500 crisis interventions.
“Creating a healthy environment for learning in the 2020-21 school year has arguably never been more challenging for staff and families,” said Chad Castruita, founder of Care Solace, which is based in La Jolla.
For more information about Care Solace, visit https://home.caresolace.com.