Mental Health Services at Public Schools
School mental health programs are emerging as a model for providing mental health services for youth, especially for those who face barriers in accessing services in traditional settings. Hathaway-Sycamores serves local public schools offering individual, group and family therapy, crisis intervention, and assessment services for students to help them manage stress and achieve greater academic success.
Who We Serve
Currently, we serve students between the ages of five and eighteen who attend Alhambra, Pasadena, and Los Angeles Unified Schools. Students can be self-referred, referred by parents or by school personnel. All students receiving services must have parental or guardian permission to participate. The majority of clients are eligible for MediCal.
The program provides crisis intervention, individual, group and family therapy for students and their families. This program also provides linkage services to other agencies, in-home family support and access to medication support. Hathaway-Sycamores’ staff works collaboratively with students in the school setting. Program goals are to help students develop their unique strengths and abilities and assist them in remedying emotional difficulties that may be interfering with academic success. Services are available year round, even when school is not in session, to help those experiencing crisis, difficulties with adjustment or attention, changes or losses in their lives. Also, focus is placed on assisting students who need help developing life skills, social skills, anger management skills, conflict resolution skills and coping skills. Bilingual services are also available.
Benefits to Students
Having mental health services available at the school sites provides students access to much needed care and counseling that would otherwise be unavailable due to transportation difficulties, financial or time constraints.
Some principals report referrals to their offices for disciplinary reasons have dropped significantly since School-Based Services were instituted. The school-based program not only serves the clients and their families directly, it provides an improved learning environment for all the students and supports the teachers in creating an atmosphere conducive to learning because the emotional and behavioral needs of the children are being met.