MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES & INTERVENTION
We believe health and wellness are foundational to success. The Starkville Oktibbeha School District's commitment to creating positive school culture means we are continually growing opportunities for students, teachers and families to stay well together, even when the hindrances to wellness are not always easy to see.
SOSD offers a variety of mental health resources to
- facilitate students' social and emotional learning
- foster healthy learning environments
- promote safety, wellness, engagement and excellence
- support parents and families
STUDENT SUPPORTS & INTERVENTION
School Counselors, Interventionists & Nurses
Full-time grade-level school counselors on each campus work in tandem with school nurses to support and meet the physical and emotional needs of students while they are at school. In addition, SOSD utilizes interventionists to work with teachers to identify and develop intervention plans to address student learning and behavioral issues.
Handle With Care
The Handle With Care initiative strengthens the relationship between schools and local emergency management personnel to provide administrators and teachers with general information about students who may have experienced trauma or emergency situations outside of school hours. Without sharing details about a child's specific situation, teachers can receive a confidential "handle with care" instruction to alert them to be aware of needs during the school day. The program provides training for teachers and school staff to prepare them for effectively supporting students who may have encountered trauma.
Contracted Counseling Services for Partnership Middle School and Armstrong Junior High School
Through a School Climate grant, Partnership Middle School and Armstrong Junior High School students or teachers can access free counseling services each month with contracted licensed practitioners. Students are referred by school counselors for the services, and all counseling sessions are provided with parental consent on campus during the regular school day. Students who are referred for the program typically work with counselors on issues related to anxiety, depression, trauma and grief management. Most participating students participate in 5 to 8 free counseling sessions.
Free Counseling for Homeless Students & Families
Students who are enrolled in the McKinney Vento Project supporting homeless or displaced children are eligible for free counseling services through Project HELP and Project REACH, housed at the SOSD Discovery Center. Immediate families members of enrolled students are also eligible to receive free counseling.
Free Counseling for Parents
Free one-on-one or group counseling is available at the SOSD Discovery Center at 1504 Louisville Street for adults enrolled in parenting classes through Project CARE. For more about services offered at Discovery Center, visit www.starkvillesd.com/discoverycenter
Mississippi State University School Psychology School-based Services
Through a partnership with the MSU School Psychology Program, licensed counselors attending graduate school serve as interns in SOSD schools to assist teachers, administrators and parents who have children experiencing academic, behavioral, social and emotional problems. Interns may provide assessment, intervention and/or crisis support for struggling PreK-12th grade students. Interns often work one-on-one with students to provide behavioral support and also train teachers to effectively implement intervention techniques. During the 2022-2023 school year, graduate student interns provided nearly 1700 contact hours directly with SOSD students.
MDE / UMMC Mississippi School-based Telehealth
Through a state-wide partnership with University of Mississippi Medical Center and Mississippi Department of Education, school nurses and counselors may take advantage of free Telehealth opportunities for direct consults with physicians and mental health professionals for students with parent permission. In addition to providing diagnostic support for common physical ailments or concerns impacting a student's attendance at school, the Telehealth services can also provide real-time counseling and/or referrals for mental health needs via Zoom calls. One benefit of the Telehealth services is that they can be scheduled around class schedules to minimize loss of learning time. Common student mental health and wellness concerns that can be addressed through Telehealth are anxiety, grief, depression, trauma and self esteem.