Written by Superintendent Brett Boggs

According to the Mental Health Foundation, mental health problems affect about one in ten children and young people.  They include depression, anxiety, and conduct disorder and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives.  Sadly, 70% of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently young age.

Most children grow up mentally healthy, but surveys suggest that more children and young people have problems with their mental health today than 30 years ago.  If left untreated, mental health disorders can impede all aspects of health, including emotional well-being and social development, leaving young people feeling socially isolated, stigmatized, and unable to make the most of their social, vocational, and interpersonal contributions to society.

The emotional well-being of children is just as important as their physical health.  Good mental health allows children and young people to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults.

The Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation (TVSC) understands the importance of good mental health for its children and young people.  TVSC also understands we serve children and young people whose lives are negatively impacted by mental health issues.  It is for this reason that TVSC has contracted with the Bowen Center to bring a Student Assistance Program (SAP) to Tippecanoe Valley. The Tippecanoe Valley Student Assistance Program is available to all students.  The SAP is a benefit provided by Tippecanoe Valley that provides every student two free prepaid sessions of counseling at any of several Bowen Center outpatient locations.  Services may also be provided at the school if available.  There is no co-pay, deductible, or pre-authorization required.  Following the initial two counseling sessions, the parent/guardian and student may decide if they would like to continue in treatment at their own cost.  There is fee assistance available for those who qualify.

Children and young people may be referred to the Student Assistance Program by a parent/guardian, a school staff member, or the child may refer himself.  Students have access to the free counseling sessions at any time during the school year and summer break.  All sessions are private and confidential.  Parental consent is required for any child under the age of 18.

An additional counseling service available this year to Tippecanoe Valley students is the presence of a school-based therapist one day each week.  This individual is a mental health therapist who can work with students that have gone through the referral process with the school counselor and the child’s parent/guardian.

The Student Assistance Program and school-based therapist services are in addition to those already provided by Tippecanoe Valley’s five full-time school counselors and a full-time mental health therapist.

The mission of the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation is our commitment to student success through the development of character, leadership, and literacy.  TVSC’s commitment to student success is demonstrated by the provision of these programs and services designed to promote the good mental health and emotional well-being of our children and young people.

Valley Insight is a recurring monthly article written by administrators on a variety of topics related to education and the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation. Articles will be posted to the district’s website and also shared with the local media.