Tanner Health System
- Project Title: Willowbrooke, Tanner Health System
- Grant Period: 2015-2018
- Program Representative Interviewed: Debra Price, MA, LPC, CPCS Program Manager Community Services
- Location: Carroll County, Heard County, Haralson County; Georgia
Program Overview: Willowbrooke is a school-based counseling program focused on
providing behavioral health services to youth. The program engages in evidence-based practices
including trauma-informed care
and youth Mental
Health First Aid. This program needed clinical and clerical staff, as well as partnerships
with key school districts. Some of the barriers to implementation of this program include school
and parent willingness to allow students to engage in counseling, as well as faculty understanding of mental
health, which affected their ability to refer students to appropriate services. The organizations involved
in this program include schools, the local Department of Justice, the local Division of Family and Children
Services, judges, and other programs for juveniles.
This program has led to positive policy changes within schools and a better understanding by staff and school officials of student mental health needs. Since program implementation, the school climate survey shows a decrease in suicidal ideation among students, as well as a decrease in school absence and an increase in academic performance. Overall, this program has minimized crisis by intervening earlier on behalf of student mental health needs. Willowbrooke is hoping to expand this program to other school districts. Through community and regional meetings, this program has been able to successfully disseminate information to other school districts who are considering a similar model. This program has ultimately been successful because there are layers of resources in the community and staff are able to refer students to higher levels of care when needed.