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Neenah elementary schools offer mental health help

From the Neenah Joint School District


Elementary school students in the Neenah Joint School District will benefit from a school-based mental health program with a $300,000 grant through the Basic Needs Giving Partnership of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region.

Neenah students in kindergarten through fifth grade will have access to mental health services at school over the next three years in a program titled HOPE (Healthy Outcomes through Positive Engagement). Collaborators with the district include Catalpa Health, NAMI Fox Valley and Samaritan Counseling.

The HOPE program has three components: therapy, screening and advocacy. Each elementary school will have a mental health therapist from Catalpa Health for one day per week. Samaritan Counseling will provide a mental health screening to be filled out by the caregivers of every elementary child in the District and NAMI Fox Valley will have a peer specialist that can help advocate for families who are seeking out mental health resources.

Neenah is already one of a small number of school districts in the state where every staff member has undergone trauma informed care training.

“The HOPE program will provide a significant impact for our children and our community,” said Supt. Mary Pfeiffer. “There are so many added challenges on our youth and reaching our students early may help address some of the issues as they get older.”

The Basic Needs Giving Partnership is supported by the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region with the proceeds of the annual U.S. Venture Open golf outing. Additional funding is provided by the J. J. Keller Foundation and other community partners.

The grant is over a three-year period and the Board of Education has made a commitment to gradually increase funding until it is 100 percent district-funded after the third year.

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