Letters: Mental health scholarships help RSS students

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 22, 2020

Abundant research has shown that a child who develops strong social and emotional skills is in a better position to be fully engaged in school and thrive academically.

While all children in the Rowan-Salisbury Schools benefit from a variety of social-emotional learning opportunities, some children are in need of additional individualized support. Whether a child is grieving a loss, struggling with attention challenges, coping with stressors at home or managing anxiety about the future, there are times when he or she might be in need of developing additional skills and strategies to navigate what is an increasingly complex world.

Rowan-Salisbury Schools (RSS) offers a school-based mental health program that enables licensed mental health professionals to provide regular counseling to those students in need of social, emotional or behavioral support. The decision to move forward with counseling is a family-driven process so it is paid for with a family’s private health insurance or Medicaid.

Unfortunately, families who are without health insurance or have extraordinarily high co-pays (which is not atypical for mental health services) have largely been unable to access these services.

Thanks to the United Way’s Community Impact Grant, however, RSS can now provide scholarships so that the students whose families request this service are now able to access it regardless of the status of their medical insurance. What was once out-of-reach to some families has now become possible with the generous support of those of you who have donated to the United Way’s annual campaign.

As a school social worker in three elementary schools in Rowan County, I have seen first-hand the positive impact that quality mental health services can provide and I am grateful to United Way for recognizing and investing in this important program.

— Tory Curran