Fort Frye local schools focus on mental health
Fulltime licensed therapists and case workers to be placed in schools
Fort Frye Local Schools will see a five-fold increase of mental health, therapeutic and case worker services for its students in the coming year.
A new contract with Life and Purpose Services approved by the Board of Education Monday will result in the placement of two fulltime licensed professional therapists and three fulltime therapeutic behavior support specialists – more commonly called case workers – in schools.
The increase in resources for children and their families in need of help was made possible by a grant from the state under a special appropriation initiated by Gov. Mike DeWine in the 2019-20 state budget, Superintendent Stephanie Starcher said.
“I am so excited about this,” Starcher said. “Sometimes we’re quick to criticize the General Assembly or the governor, but this is something they got right. They listened to the public and the community, who were saying that kids have so many issues that impact their ability to learn.”
Teachers in recent years have been overwhelmed by behavioral and psychological difficulties their students exhibit, some of which are attributed to difficulties at home caused by the opioid crisis. Fort Frye last year contracted with L&P to place one full-time therapist in schools, but she was quickly booked to capacity.
“She didn’t have enough room on the schedule, and we knew we needed a second therapist,” Starcher said.
The services, which include two therapists and three case workers who will have offices in the schools, will cost the district $162,000. Students or family who are referred to ongoing therapy outside school with L&P will be billed through insurance, Medicaid or private pay.View Full Article