Dist. 88 team focused on mental health

NEW ULM — The District 88 School Board received an update on mental health supports and programs.

A newly formed district mental health team was form this school year. The purpose of the team is coordinate and provide mental health service to students, family and staff.

Assistant Principal Troy Guentz, the team’s coordinator, said in terms of mental health, the baselines are being met, but the team is looking to close additional gaps and finding ways to accentuate the programs.

District advisory committee and mental health support team member Mimi Chough said the district was looking at a three-tiered system for mental health support.

The first tier was given to all students. This included promotion of positive social, emotional and behavioral skills and overall well-being.

The second tier is for students who need a little help. Chough said this is for students who are coming to the counselor’s office for assistance or seeking tutoring. This could take the form of small group-level interventions and mentoring or low-intensity classroom support.

The third tier is for high-need situations. Chough said this is for the students who have trouble staying in school. Students who need individual treatment for significant distress due to a crisis or functional impairment. This tier could include therapy or higher level of care.

Chough said a gap in the system is making sure parents are aware of what is available at the schools. Chough wanted to push out information on the mental health programming into the community to ensure families that needed certain services know how to get it.

Guentz said the school needed to better to inform the community about what they are offering. This means using social media or newsletters to close the gap.


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