New Terry Reilly Health Services School-Based Therapy Program

 

Morley Nelson Elementary is one of the elementary schools in Boise adding therapy to class time as part of a behavioral health pilot program. "Some families don't have the time or the ability to get kids to therapy that's very, very needed at the time," said principal Melanie Koch.

The therapist, from Terry Reilly Health Services (TRHS), visits the school every week. TRHS has spent the past three years improving mental health inside the classroom at multiple schools, like Lewis and Clark Elementary School in Caldwell and Star Elementary in Star. "Fourth graders, third graders, second graders even; we have school-based therapists helping kindergartners, first graders, so really looking at early intervention as a way to help address prevention," said TRHS supervisor for school-based clinical therapists, Angie Hernandez Harris.

In its first year in Boise, the pilot program has already been successful for elementary school aged kids like Sawyer. "Physical symptoms from his anxiety eased once he started doing the counseling, they went away completely," said Sawyer's mother, Alisa Hitt.

Adding therapy to the curriculum across the state is a way for schools to normalize the conversation around mental health. "We know it's just as important to see our therapist as it is to go see our dentist as it is to go see our doctor, then we are decreasing that stigma," said Harris.

Read the full article for more information about TRHS programs and services. 

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