Students returning to school in various forms this fall have the ability to connect with their school counselors for outpatient counseling services via secure video connection, thanks in part to a grant from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s MKE Responds Fund.
Christian Family Solutions’ Urban School-Based Counseling Program, which provides mental health counseling on-site at 18 Milwaukee school buildings, had to be transitioned completely to telehealth in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 shutdown. The transition has presented both challenges and opportunities as CFS seeks to offer mental health services to urban youth.
The grant funds were used to purchase equipment for counselors and for licensing fees associated with transitioning all of these Milwaukee youth to telehealth during the COVID-19 crisis. While the costs to make a full and quick transition were significant, Christian Family Solutions has more than a decade of experience delivering services by telehealth, so training additional staff and transitioning clients could be smooth and efficient.
Now, whether students are in school on site or virtually, they have access to mental healthcare through telehealth. Counselors can provide students with the help they need, which includes outpatient counseling, or referrals to our STRONG Day Treatment program for students with more acute needs. STRONG continues to offer day treatment in person and is Milwaukee’s only day treatment for children ages 5-14.
Christian Family Solutions is grateful for our partnership with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, enabling us to respond quickly to this need and continue serving some of our city’s most vulnerable youth.