Copper Country ISD’s mental health services continue to grow
The Copper Country Intermediate School District (CCISD) received money last year from the Michigan Department of Education to provide mental health services to general education students throughout the districts. Each district has decided to allow the ISD to manage the funding, recruiting, hiring, training and management of the Mental Health Professionals (MHP) serving the CCISD districts.
Last summer the recruitment began and one full-time and one part-time Mental Health Professionals were hired. They began serving students in September 2019. The Mental Health Professionals have a diverse background and bring a lot of experience to the ISD; one MHP is a Licensed Masters Social Worker and is also working towards their certification as a School Social Worker. The other MHP is a School Psychologist and worked part-time for the CCISD.
Due to the high caseload numbers for the Mental Health Professionals, the CCISD hired another Licensed Masters Social Worker and in January, 2020, the CCISD also accepted a master’s level social work intern who completed her master’s practicum within the schools. She was supervised by one of CCISD’s Licensed Social Workers, and we are pleased to announce that she was offered, and accepted, a full-time position with the CCISD when school resumes in the fall.
Over this school year, the MHP team provided services for approximately 85 students. Students are referred to the CCISD through their school counselor, teacher or parent and an initial intake/assessment is completed for each referral. Once the student has qualified for services, a treatment plan is created and the work with the student, teacher and parents begins. Services vary according to the student’s needs. The Mental Health Professionals mostly focus on teaching coping skills, improving communication between the student and the teacher and working through past trauma. Some of the main concerns focused on are anxiety, depression, self-esteem and relationships with peers, parents and teachers.
As we all know, in March our lives turned upside down with the closure of the Copper Country ISD schools. From the onset of this closure, the MHP team, along with the Director of General Education, started meeting to discuss how we could still serve students during this difficult transition time. It was decided that the MHP team would still serve students, even though that work would look different. The CCISD provided all of the Mental Health Professionals with cell phones that were used to conduct meetings with students via tele-therapy. Throughout March and into June, the MHP team served approximately 15 students per week.
As the summer months approached, it was determined that some students still needed mental health support so the MHP were approved to work for up to 4 hours per week to maintain contact with the highest needs students.
Overall, the mental health services in the schools have been a great success and very well received by teachers, administrators, parents and students. We are pleased to be able to continue providing these services into the 2020-21 school year and look forward to serving the students when school resumes in the fall.
The Copper Country ISD is committed to providing as much support as possible to our local schools, students and the community as a whole. The addition of Mental Health Professionals to our CCISD staff is just another example of how the CCISD is working towards the goal of support.