AUBURN - Beginning this fall, school children and their families in SAD # 55 will have on-site access to counseling services. These services will be provided through a partnership between the SAD #55 Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative and Tri-County Mental Health Services (TCMHS). Maine School Administrative District # 55 includes Baldwin Consolidated School, Cornish Elementary, Fred Morrill Elementary, Hiram Elementary, South Hiram Elementary, Sacopee Valley Middle School and Sacopee Valley High School. It serves approximately 1,200 children, youth and families. Tri-County Mental Health Services is one of Maine's most respected and progressive agencies dealing with the psychological and social well-being of children, adults, and elders. The partnership will allow therapists to work on-site at the school in collaboration with the teachers and parents, to remove barriers to service. It represents an expansion of school-based services for TCMHS, which already offers counseling for students in SAD #61, SAD #72, and SAD #17.
"We are very pleased to be working with the schools to reach young people and help address any challenges early," says Tim McMahon, Manager of TCMHS's Bridgton Office and leader of the school-based initiative. He points to national data on childhood mental illness, which estimate that 3-5 percent of school-aged children are diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in a 6-month period; 5 percent of children aged 9-17 are diagnosed with major depression; and the combined prevalence of various anxiety disorders for children ages 9-17 is 13 percent. "Our goal is to help these young people early to work with them, their families, and their teachers, to help them be successful in school, home, and the community."
For information or referrals to school-based services in SAD 55, parents can contact their school or call Tri-County Mental Health's Bridgton Office at 647-5629.
TCMHS serves over 10,000 individuals each year in Androscoggin, Northern Cumberland, Franklin and Oxford counties with innovative programs and services addressing mental health, substance abuse, mental retardation/developmental disabilities, autism, and more. The agency is a state, regional and national leader in trauma-informed and recovery-based service delivery, and strives to offer hope to individuals, families, and communities. Visit www.tcmhs.org for more information.
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Tri-County Mental Health Services
1155 Lisbon Street
PO Box 2008
Lewiston, Maine 04241-2008
Toll Free: 800-787-1155