An increasing number of school officials in Boston and other cities are enlisting the help of private counselors to work with students suffering from behavioral issues and other mental health problems.
As The Boston Globe reports schools are finding it more ideal to bring in a counselor a couple of times a week for select students because it avoids costly alternative of hiring more full-time counseling staff while also “reducing the gap nationwide between the number of children who need psychological or emotional help and those who actually get it.”
“There’s definitely a push toward providing mental health services in schools through fee-for-service and other mechanisms,’’ Sharon Stephan, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, told The Globe. “It’s a fiscal reality.’’
The Globe identifies a few perks of utilizing private therapists in schools. Among them: easier access to counselors for children because parents do not have to drive them to appointments, the potential for collaboration between teachers and therapists, and the lower price tag for school districts.
“Students can’t learn if their mental health needs aren’t met,’’ said Andria Amador, assistant director for behavioral health services in the Boston public schools.
Read Counseling Today’s cover story, “Breaking away from the pack,” in which counselors discuss their own journeys into private practice.
Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.