School Based Mental Health

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In the average-sized classroom of 25 students, it’s likely five will have diagnosable mental health concerns. The need for mental health supports continues to grow. Many students are facing complicated emotions right now due to COVID-19 and extended periods of stress and uncertainty. As we return to school, the mental health impact is anticipated to be significant; with increased anxiety, mood disorders, thoughts of self-harm, grief and loss issues. This all influences a student’s ability to learn, interact and thrive.

For more information on SaintA’s School Based Mental Health services, please fill out this easy Contact Form.

The Impact is Universal, the Solution Should Be, Too

Integrated school mental health services can do more to engage students, minimize classroom disruptions and create healthy learners. SaintA has flexible, trauma-informed programming to meet the mental health needs of students, schools, and families.

Three Tiers, One Plan

We take a three-tiered approach to school-based mental health services, known as the Integrated School Based Model.
  • Tier 1 Trainings/Universal Interventions focus on understanding the impact of mental health on learning. In Tier 1, you will create proactive interventions for all students with an eye toward maintaining students’ mental health and well-being.
  • Tier 2 Trainings/Secondary Interventions are where ideas are put into action. We start with classroom observations and recommendations and turn teachers into learners as we model ways to support regulation and emotional awareness.
  • Tier 3 Trainings/Tertiary Interventions are individual direct services that take place in the school, which makes services more accessible and creates greater consistency. It also keeps services connected back to the school environment.
This integrated model drives educational success in three ways: it recognizes the value of intervention at each level of support; prioritizes connectedness, using consistent language and messaging; and ultimately creates a shared understanding of the impact of mental health on a student’s ability to function.

From there, you can focus on the task at hand: educating students who are ready to learn.

Trauma Sensitive Schools Approach

As a leader in Trauma Informed Care, SaintA recognizes the need to connect training to interventions.

We believe in creating a perspective shift for teachers and behavioral support systems for youth in learning environments. Embedded in our integrated school mental health model is our Trauma Sensitive Schools curriculum, which:
  • Helps remove barriers to educational success
  • Appreciates the impact and prevalence of trauma
  • Leads to a perspective shift by changing the question from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you and how can I support you?”
  • Provides sensory and regulation-based activities
  • Uses relationship to help students create resilience
  • Helps students find their reason to be; the sense of purpose or direction
  • Teaches self-care so you can be the best educator you can be
For more information, contact:
Carey Jacobsen, MA, LPC
Director of Clinical Services
414.465.1326 (Office)
cjacobsen@sainta.org

Meet Our Therapists

Kristine Bune, MS, LPC, NCC, has worked as a licensed professional counselor in school-based settings for the past 5 years. She has previously worked with clients in outpatient, in-home, and residential environments. Behavioral or emotional challenges can create barriers not only to a child’s school success, but also within relationships, reason to be, and other areas of wellness. Kristine uses a collaborative and strengths-based approach including each child’s individual affinities to maximize growth, and support the client in reaching their potential. Kristine is also certified in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics through the Child Trauma Academy, and is a trainer for the Trauma Sensitive Schools curriculum. She specializes in providing individual therapy, as well as consultation surrounding supportive classroom and school culture, and teacher and staff training and implementation.
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Kimberly Christenson, LMFT, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Evangel University in Missouri and a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from John F. Kennedy University in California. She has experience in outpatient clinics across many different states, settings, and cultures, working directly with adults, couples, and families. For the past four years, her primary focus has been working with adolescents and teens. Her approach is inclusive of strengths-based skills, structure of relationships and families, and rooted in trauma informed care. Kimberly finds the relationship and trust established with each client to be vitally important.
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Katie Cottrill, LPC-IT, graduated with her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University. Since graduating, Katie has experience working therapeutically with youth and adolescents that were placed in out of home care. Katie truly gets to know every youth that she works with as relationship building is the key to successful therapy. She utilizes a strengths-based approach to help her clients develop a strong sense of self and learn skills to self-advocate. She enjoys being creative, using art in sessions and playing games with clients to help them develop strong coping and social skills. Katie believes that having fun and utilizing humor when appropriate can be very healing. She has experience working with youth that have experienced sexual trauma, are diagnosed with ADHD, depression, and anxiety.
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Lydia Ferraro, ATR, LPC, has been developing her specialty as a school-based therapist since completing a dual licensure (ATR and LPC) program through Mount Mary University. As a formally trained art therapist, Lydia incorporates a diverse range of art media into her sessions to illuminate self-expression and growth. Primarily, she employs an integrative therapy approach through a trauma-informed and multicultural lens, understanding that chronic trauma and systemic issues can greatly impact learning and development. Lydia advocates for expressive therapies like art, movement, music, play, and poetry to explore and transform emotionally charged thoughts and beliefs. Her practice is also influenced by mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to address thoughts and beliefs that drive, protect, and cultivate specific behaviors. Lydia’s main goal is to foster a safe space where children and their families feel seen and heard and trusting relationships can grow.
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Michelle Fox, MS, LPC, works with families on concerns ranging from behavioral problems (school/home), anxiety, anger management, and social skills; to trauma, attachment, abuse and neglect. Her background includes experience in residential settings, day treatment, in-home, and outpatient, as well as school based services. She works from a trauma informed, person centered approach, believing that early interactions and experiences shape how we navigate our world. Building a strong collaborative relationship and utilizing a strength based approach, Michelle works with children and families to foster meaningful change.
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Rachel Garlock, MSW, LCSW, holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In addition to being a licensed Clinical Social Worker, she is certified in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics through the Child Trauma Academy. Rachel has worked with high-risk foster children at SaintA for seven years, usually prior to transitioning to school-based therapy services. Providing therapy within the school structure allows her to collaborate with the school, and makes her availabile to handle school-related issues head on. She believes children are able to achieve greater success and regulation through strong, supportive relationships, and strives to learn each of her clients’ and families’ unique strengths to find a collaborative approach that works best for all involved.
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Shana Greenwich, MA, LPC, NCC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor with educational expertise working with children and families who have been abused, neglected, and/or affected by trauma, and is also certified in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics through the Child Trauma Academy. She uses a strengths-based, collaborative approach, primarily in community-based therapy before transitioning to school-based therapy services. She enjoys providing therapy within the schools, as it allows for better collaboration and availability to handle school-related issues head on. I enjoy getting to know my clients and their families so I can learn about their unique strengths in order to find a collaborative approach that works best. Shana enjoys utilizing her personal philosophy with clients, to highlight the importance of implementing mindfulness in all areas of our lives.
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Nicholas Lueloff, MS, LPC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor with experience helping children and families who are experiencing a wide range of life difficulties. He previously provided child and family therapy in outpatient settings, and currently practices in an outpatient, school-based setting. Nick believes in fostering a safe, therapeutic environment where relationships can form and individuals and families can grow. He utilizes a strengths-based, cognitive-behavioral approach through a trauma-informed lens, and highlights the importance of mindfulness in daily life. He believes a team approach — including family, school staff, and community resources — is key to successful and meaningful outcomes.
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Claudia Moreno received her master’s degree in Counseling at the University of Nebraska. She has an extensive professional background that includes a career in education, school counseling and a counselor. She strives to create a warm and welcoming environment for the clients she serves to promote a safe space for healing. Claudia utilizes a strengths-based, person-centered approach and promotes a collaborative process with clients to guide them to gain increased self-awareness, new perspectives, and personal strengths to have a more meaningful life experience. She incorporates an eclectic therapeutic approach to include psychodynamic, CBT, and a variety of creative expression modalities. She is also a certified hypnotherapist and bilingual in Spanish.
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Laura Nauth, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker with nearly 20 years of experience working with individuals, children and families in a variety of roles. For several years, Laura worked with parents of infants and toddlers to provide education and support around the development of parent-child attachment relationships and emotional co-regulation. As a clinician, she has provided therapeutic services to adults, children, and families struggling with a variety of mental health and substance use issues. She works primarily from a client-centered, relational psychodynamic approach, and integrates play therapy, CBT and mindfulness as appropriate (and depending on client interest). Laura finds joy in building a unique and affirming relationship with each of the clients and families she serves, and continues to be awed by the creativity and self-righting capacity of clients when they regard themselves with curiosity and compassion. Laura also believes that the social environment has a significant impact on human functioning, so she works with clients to strengthen existing connections and nurture new ones when they are ready.
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Nancy Nedland, MA LP, E-RYT, RCYT, holds a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and is a registered yoga teacher with a specialty in children’s yoga. Nancy believes that mind/body integration is a useful tool in healing and personal development, and utilizes mindfulness techniques in work with clients. Nancy has decades of experience working professionally with children and families, giving her a ‘big picture’ perspective on the complexities of everyday life. Nancy sees all healthy development as a practice that needs to be enjoyable in order to be repeated, and utilizes humor and a playful outlook in all of her work. Her goal as a therapist is to establish a relationship with clients that allows them to feel heard, understood and supported to move towards healing and personal growth. She sees the therapeutic relationship as one that allows individuals and families to operate as they truly are: perfectly imperfect, and to grow from that place of being.
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Kate Nipko, MSW, LCSW, specializes in working with children and adolescents struggling with the impact of trauma, mood concerns, and anxiety, as well as in therapeutic work and advocacy with the LGBTQ community. Kate’s clinical work includes experience Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the ARC Model, EMDR, and the incorporation of the arts, expressive therapy and play in the therapeutic process. Kate’s approach to therapy is eclectic and holistic, and she combines a humanistic focus and extensive background in the arts to tailor the therapeutic process to each individual and family in order best meet their needs.
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Leah Pounds LPC-IT, is a Professional Counselor In Training. She is empathic, compassionate, and dedicated to working with children, adolescents and adults that suffer from mental illness and/or exposure to violence or trauma. She has experience working with children and families that have been involved in the child welfare system and the foster care system, and has been trained in Trauma Informed Care. She has provided individual counseling to many populations, and is currently working within the school setting providing individual therapy and consultation at Central City Cyberschool. Leah has experience working in the Milwaukee community using the ACT Model – Assertive Community Treatment, as well as training surrounding and collaborates with the client and family to create a safe space to provide healing and support.
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Jenna Radowski, ATR LPC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Art Therapist. She earned her Master’s Degree in Art Therapy with an emphasis in Counseling from Mount Mary University. Jenna has worked as a primary therapist and art therapist in a variety of settings, including children’s hospitals, elementary and high schools, and residential treatment centers in Wisconsin and Montana. She is currently a School Based Therapist for SaintA at the South Milwaukee School District for elementary and high school students. Jenna’s specialty is utilizing art with individuals as a form of emotional expression and a way to increase understanding of self and surroundings to assist with regulation. She is passionate about the connection between creative expression and emotional well-being.
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Amanda Ramirez, MS, LPC, NCC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor working with youth ages 0-17 in a variety of settings, including in-home therapy, inpatient hospitalization, residential treatment facilities, court order programs, and school-based services. Amanda provides a strength-based approach focused on improving the social and emotional aspects of a child’s life. She has worked extensively with child and adolescent populations, providing individual, family, and group therapy, aiming to provide clients with effective, healthy coping strategies and life skills to improve their well-being.
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Darlene Shea MA, LPC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor with experience working with children ages 3 and older, adolescents, adults, and families. Her experience includes assisting clients and their families with behavioral issues, parenting issues, life changes, anxiety, depression, anger, self-esteem, abuse, social skills, and a variety of trauma issues. The approaches she uses most often include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Client-Centered Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, and Play Therapy with the younger clients. She uses a variety of approaches in her treatment to best meet each individual client’s need. Darlene has previously provided child and family therapy in an outpatient setting and has worked with young children in a variety of settings and roles for over 20 years. She is currently a child and family therapist in a school-based setting in Menomonee Falls School District. She has a passion for helping children and families and truly believes “It takes a village”, family, school, and community resources working together to help children overcome obstacles and reach their fullest potential.
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Michelle Stoneburner, LCSW, has over 15 years of experience working with children, youth, and families. She earned her bachelor and master’s degree in social welfare from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Her experience includes helping families with the following: anxiety, depression, trauma, ADHD, LGBTQ topics, healthy relationships, social skills, anger management and coping with life changes and adjustments. She uses an individualized approach to allow clients to utilize their own strengths and interests in their therapeutic journey. Often utilizing Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness, psychoeducation, creative activities, movement, and play. She values the importance of building a positive and trusting relationship with clients to help them overcome obstacles and reach their goals.
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We are Hiring!

With the need for ongoing, high-intensity mental health care steadily increasing across Wisconsin, there is a need to broaden our reach and meet more clients where they are.

Our child and family therapists work in schools with students who have emotional and behavioral challenges. The focus is on intervening early to help children function successfully within their schools and prevent the need for more intensive treatment and disruption of social, emotional, and academic learning.

Join our Fast-Growing School Based Mental Health Team

Due to program expansion, we are hiring to place therapists in school settings throughout southeastern Wisconsin. SaintA School Based Mental Health services are currently offered inside 23 schools, which is nearly double the number of schools in 2018. Visit our Careers page

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