Adams County

Program provides therapy within schools

Posted

Community Reach Center in Adams County is extending services to meet the needs of students in area school districts through the school-based therapy program.

The program provides counseling services to students and families directly in the school who are experiencing emotional or behavioral difficulties.

Instead of children and families having to travel to an outpatient facility, therapy sessions are conducted in a private confidential office provided within the school. Currently there are school-based therapy programs in schools within the Adams 12 Five Star School District, Mapleton School District, Adams County School District 14, Brighton 27J School District, Pinnacle Charter School and Front Range Community College Westminster Campus.

Aaron Cordova is the school-based therapy program manager for Adams 12, 27J, FRCC and Pinnacle. He said by providing metal health services within the schools, barriers are removed allowing for easier access for services needed by families and

children.

No longer do families have to drive to an outpatient facility, which for some can be very difficult to accomplish, he added.

“It’s really important for us to meet the needs of families and get them the help they need and because those needs can be met in the school setting, we are able reach more families,” Cordova said. “Our goal is to hopefully extend the program into even more schools in Adams County and see this program expand.”

Students can utilize the program for a variety of reasons, whether it’s a just a tough morning due to a family argument that day, or a more serious situation like a student living in an abusive environment. Cordova said students who have become withdrawn, disengaged and have fallen behind with their schoolwork can also receive services.

Most services are covered by insurance, including Medicaid and CHP+, but for families that can’t afford the cost, Cordova said the services are covered by other funding sources.

“We have an agreement with the district to received funds for those families that have no way of paying for the service,” he said. “We also get some state funding. No child will be turned away due to lack of payment, therefore we will see any kid who needs

us.”

Stephanie John, a clinical director at Community Reach, said one of the best things about the school-based program is the fact that the students are seen in a comfortable setting, one they are familiar with. She said the children know the therapist not just because of a therapy session, but because he or she is part of the school culture. By being in the school, John said therapists also have the opportunity to collaborate with teachers.

“Be being integrated into the school therapist are providing a level of support that is very comfortable for the child and the family,” she said.

“No long is there a barrier. Families are provided a service in a welcoming environment. It’s a win for all of us.”

For more information on Community Reach’s school-based therapy program or for a list of participating schools, visit www.communityreachcenter.org or call 303-853-3500.