As schools re-open in southeast Louisiana, more students will be able to take advantage of mental health services. Access Health Louisiana (AHL) opened five new school-based health center (SBHC) sites in August in Jefferson Parish. This brings the total number of SBHC sites operated by AHL in Jefferson Parish School District to 10. The new schools include Grace King High School and East Jefferson High School in Metairie, Chateau Elementary School in Kenner, Catherine Strehle Community School in Avondale, and Douglass Community School in Gretna.
All the new school sites will be staffed with a licensed clinical social worker who will be available to students whether they are utilizing in person or virtual classes this year. AHL is utilizing the telemedicine platform Doxyme to conduct the individual and group teletherapy sessions with students. Psychiatry is also being offered.
“Access Health Louisiana and Jefferson Parish Schools is a partnership that supports students' physical and behavioral health needs which enables students to be prepared to succeed academically, emotionally, and socially,” states Edna Metcalf, Executive Director of Health and Student Services for the Jefferson Parish School District. “It enables students to learn how to take charge of their own physical and mental health in order to become productive citizens. This partnership enables Jefferson Parish Schools to keep students in school and parents at work.”
Students who participate in school-based health services never pay a co-pay. The services are available to any student regardless of their insurance status or lack thereof. Also, prescriptions can be filled through the Access Health Louisiana Pharmacy which offers free home delivery. This is an added benefit for students and families with transportation challenges.
Other Jefferson Parish schools that have an AHL SBHC site include Joshua Butler Elementary in Westwego, West Jefferson High School in Harvey, John Ehret in Marrero, Bonnabel High School in Kenner, and Riverdale Middle/High School in Jefferson.
In all, Access Health Louisiana operates 19 SBHCs across southeast Louisiana in seven parishes. For more information on school health services, go to accesshealthla.org.