Today, Kearney Public Schools opened a new Student Assistance Program (SAP), a counseling service for middle school and high school students that can be accessed by phone, app, or website.
“The Student Assistance Program is one of the most exciting tools we’ve been able to offer to our students in need over the past several years. This program will offer students mental health support when they need it, anytime, day or night, 365 days a year. There is no cost to families for students in grades 6-12 to access the services. Students need parental consent forms signed, and they can begin accessing mental health supports, “ said Jason Mundorf, KPS Superintendent. “We know we have outstanding mental health support with our counselors and social workers during the school day. And we also know we have many excellent therapists in our area who can support students. However, accessing these additional supports can be challenging, with many therapists booked with appointments for months out. Our students often need support during times when traditional counseling offices are closed. This service will immediately help students when they need it and help bridge the gap of time needed to find a local therapist to support them.”
Kearney Public Schools will receive utilization statistics on the number of people using the service, but no personal, identifying information will be disclosed. No one at Kearney Public Schools will know the names of students who have called. “We hope students who need this kind of service will take advantage of the opportunity,” said Dan Endorf, KPS Director of Student Services and Safety.
The Student Assistance Program can support a wide range of school and personal issues. Some examples include dealing with test anxiety, managing stress, a breakup, grief, and self-esteem issues. “A key piece of the program is that students can call or text at any time of day or night with parental permission, “ stated Endorf.
The SAP requires parent permission to access services. The district sent a packet of information home with students from Kearney High School, Horizon and Sunrise Middle Schools, and the Hanny Arram Center for Success on Tuesday. Parents must sign the forms and have their students return them to the school secretary to become eligible for this program.
“We sincerely hope this program provides mental health support for our students facing issues. Kearney Public Schools is committed to supporting our students and families when they are in crisis. The Student Assistance Program will be another opportunity for us to provide needed support. It took a great amount of work for this program to get launched in our schools, and I want to especially commend our counselors, and social workers, Dan Endorf, and Tori Stofferson, who have brought this idea to fruition. It takes all hands on deck to support our students, and we are committed to these efforts,” said Mundorf.
For additional information, access the Kearney Public Schools website: https://kearneypublicschools.org/studentassistanceprogram.