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:

    With collaboration among schools, teachers and families, students are wrapped in a supportive team to meet their educational, behavioral and mental health needs.

  • 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)

Meet Our Therapists

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 havs experience working with youth that have experienced sexual trauma, are diagnosed with ADHD, depression, and anxiety. Schedule a Virtual Appointment Today! >>
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. Schedule a Virtual Appointment Today! >>

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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