Clark Center to help during crisis

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Southwest schools offer extra counseling to students

Students at Southwest have a school counselor they can turn to when needed, but Southwest has taken an opportunity for more help available to the students who need it.

Tosha Tilford, Southwest superintendent, said the Clark Center started a program in September 2017 to provide on-campus therapy.

“From my understanding, the Clark Center reached out to all the area schools regarding providing licensed counselors/psychologists to assist with some of the issues that students are facing,” Tilford said. “We were thrilled with the extra counseling opportunities that were being provided.”

According to Tilford, the Clark Center provides free of charge one psychologist to the district one day a week currently. 

“After the new year, they will be providing a second psychologist for a second day a week,” Tilford said. “We have a tremendous need for an additional psychologist and the Clark Center is aware of this and trying to help us.

“This is a tremendous assistance to our students, and we really appreciate the service that the Clark Center is providing.”

According to Henderson, the Clark Center provides an LPC who offers mental health counseling to students on campus. 

“Each child has a treatment plan,” Henderson said. “There are no medication services at the school, but those services are provided at the Clark Center offices.”

Henderson said the Clark Center has offered services to several schools in the area, and have also been able to accommodate other schools that have reached out as counselors have become available.

“This program is incredibly limited,” Henderson said. “Clark Center cannot provide counseling to every school in the catchment area.” 

According to Henderson, to participate in the program, there must be an initial intake completed to become a Clark Center client. The intake is offered in Monett Monday-Friday and at the Clark Center office in Cassville on Thursdays.

“The Clark Center started seeing children for therapy in the school during the 2017-2018 school year after the state changed the rules, allowing us to do so,” Henderson said. “We are very thankful for this opportunity to offer needed services to families that may have a difficult time with transportation or other barriers to service.”

Henderson said some families have a difficult time with work schedules or transportation or other circumstances that make it difficult to take their child out of school.

“This program offers therapy on-site, the child does not miss school, parents don’t miss work and transportation is not an issue,” Henderson said.

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