Mobile Mental Health Response Team Makes Positive Impact in First Year at Hillsborough County Schools

District leaders increased mental health services for students in Hillsborough County schools this year.

Seeing the impact of COVID-19, the district added 100 more therapists and invested $1.4 million to create a mobile mental health response unit.

The partnership with Gracepoint Health enables counselors to respond to schools when a student is having a mental health crisis.

“So this is a brand new initiative that we’re really excited about,” said Maggie Dean of Hillsborough County Schools. ‚ÄúThis initiative was introduced to the district because we are trying to increase the number of times we use licensed mental health professionals to respond to students who are experiencing a mental health crisis. We wanted to be able to provide a comprehensive assessment and stabilize the student in the least constraining environment and try to help defuse it at school.”

The district support team has noticed the difference and, with summer vacation approaching, wants to make sure students and parents are still supported.

“We are coming into the summer, so we really want to work with our staff, our students and our families to know that there is support even in the summer months.” Michael Kelleher, clinical care supervisor, said. “If they’re with a community partner or if they want ideas on how to support their child through the summer. So we’re really preparing and preparing for that.”

If you are having difficulty or need to speak to someone, you can call 211 anytime to connect with local support services.

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