Behavioral health services expand to local high school campuses

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Amber Guidry, a licensed professional counselor, will work full-time at HHS beginning in August.

Students at Destrehan and Hahnville High Schools can now be seen for on-campus therapy during class hours for everything from anxiety, depression, trauma, stress, anger management, relationship issues, and more so thanks to an expansion of school-based health services by Access Health Louisiana.

“We are very pleased that Access Health Louisiana is expanding behavioral health services to our two high school campuses,” said Jerry L. Smith, executive director of student services for the school district. “St. Charles Parish Public Schools recently launched Universal Behavioral Health Needs Screening to help us identify students at risk of experiencing trauma and other negative childhood experiences. This expanded partnership with Access Health will support the school system’s post-screening triage process and enable students to receive therapy on an expedited basis for a variety of behavioral health needs, including trauma, anxiety, depression and other risk factors. stress.

Smith said being able to receive these services on their school campuses will promote academic success for students in the district, while eliminating the need for students to drop out of school to receive treatment.

This makes a total of seven schools served by AHL in the St. Charles Parish School District – JB Martin Middle, RJ Vial Elementary, Albert Cammon Middle, St. Rose Elementary, Luling Elementary and now DHS and HHS.

“We are excited to expand our school services within St. Charles Parish,” said Vice President of School Health and Strategic Media for Access Health Louisiana Chenier Reynolds-Montz. “We have seen an increased need for services on school campuses across the state due to the pandemic. These two years have been difficult for the students, as many have had to change their routines due to the pandemic. Pair the pandemic with families living in hurricane-damaged homes and portable trailers, and the need for support is great.

Parents pay no out-of-pocket for the services their child receives at the school health center. Students can be seen for services during non-essential classes throughout the school day, and individual and group therapy is available. Psychiatry services can also be scheduled virtually.

To receive services, parents must complete a Student Consent and Registration Form. Even if a child is an AHL patient or has been enrolled in school services on their college campus, parents will need to complete a new consent and enrollment record. Kits can be obtained from school counselors, by visiting accesshealthla.org and going to the individual school health center page, or by filling out forms sent home at the start of the school year.

Amber Guidry, a licensed professional counselor, will work full-time at HHS beginning in August. She graduated from Hahnville in 1999.

“I have extensive experience working with teenagers facing various challenges,” she said. “I strive to provide a welcoming environment for students to feel comfortable and empowered while discussing issues that may seem vulnerable.”

Reynolds-Montz said the DHS therapist has yet to be named.

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