EVSC offering free mental health counseling for employees and their families

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Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 8:46 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - In a partnership with Talkspace, the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation received the green light on a mental health project that targets not only their staff, but their dependents that are ages 13 and up.

Easterseals Rehabilitation Center Vice President of Community Outreach and Education Emily Reidford says she thinks it’s a great idea.

“We’re so excited for the EVSC to be rolling this out because we know the immense amount of pressure and stress that our school staff has been facing,” says Reidford.

The EVSC Chief Communication Officer Jason Woebkenberg says the same.

“Well I think this is just, again, another way that we can help support our employees,” says Woebkenberg, “life can be challenging at times, and mental health is something that we all need to be very aware of. It’s vitally important to have successful, happy lives.”

The project will allow EVSC staff and their qualifying dependents two 30 minute live video sessions with a certified clinician, as well as unlimited access to online message therapy options.

This focus on the mental health of teachers could have a ripple effect that touches the students as well according to Reidford.

“When we see that in a classroom, that will translate to better test scores for students,” says Reidford, “students engaging more in their academics and getting better outcomes there too, but it all starts with taking care of those teachers.”

Woebkenberg says that mental health is at the top of the list of priorities. They have 3,400 employees at EVSC, and he says this service will be available to every single one of them.

The funding for this has been secured through an ESSER account, which is a fund set up to address impacts on schools from COVID.

Woebkenberg also says that because of this Esser funding, employees won’t have to pay for this service.

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