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Helping Kids in Crisis: Hospital and School Partnerships

NPR recently interviewed Noreen Leahy, a superintendent in the Rockville Center school district. In 2019, after dealing with multiple suicides in the district, Leahy knew that despite a rise in mental health concerns in her students, the schools were limited in what they could do for them.

She knew there was a need to connect the students to mental health care; this led Leahy to develop a partnership with a nearby hospital. Leahy worked with Gina-Marie Bounds, a local hospital administrator, to build an ongoing partnership. With a connection to the local hospital, kids now have access to mental health services and continuous support. Kids are no longer falling through the cracks, they are able to avoid showing up to the ER for help, and get care as soon as possible, regardless of their mental or physical health status.

Luckily, there are systems such as bhworks, which is currently being used in multiple states, that allow schools to screen their students for mental health problems without the need for extra staff and resources. Additionally, the staff who do the screenings can manage potential interventions, track outcomes over time, and can refer students to mental health care providers in their community. For specific examples of how schools are using bhworks, check out our latest case studies.

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