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New project aimed at helping students’ mental health presented to EVSC

New project aimed at helping students’ mental health presented to EVSC
Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 10:38 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - On Monday, information was presented to the EVSC school board on a new project that will prioritize students’ mental health.

It’s called the School Mental Health Assessment Research and Training Center, also known as “SMART,” and is an intervention project that trains providers within the schools to better assist students who’ve suffered trauma.

Susan Phelps presented the information to the board. EVSC was chosen among others across the nation to participate.

One provider, whether that be a counselor, social worker or any behavioral type of teacher with a master’s degree, would be trained over the summer and then work with four to six students to deliver intervention and therapy throughout the next school year.

Phelps says this type of project is needed within the school system because of the number of kids that suffer from trauma.

“More than two-thirds of our students will experience at least one traumatic event before they leave high school. That’s a lot of kids. It doesn’t mean they’re traumatized but will have experienced a traumatic event, and the majority of students receive their mental health services in schools,” explained Phelps. ‘So to have the opportunity to increase the scope of confidence for our school counselors, our school social workers and our masters-prepared behavior specialists is a huge opportunity for this community to increase the access to these services.”

Ms. Phelps presentation on the SMART center was met with a lot of positive feedback on adding those mental health services into EVSC schools.

The project will be voted on at the next school board meeting.

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