community Foundation Supports a partnership between the Health Department and East Jordan PUblic Schools
The following was published in the 2017 annual report of the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. See the full report here.
School-Based Child & Adolescent Health Programs Expand to East Jordan
By: Rebecca Litzner, LMSW, Behavioral Health Therapist, Health Department of Northwest Michigan
As students returned to school in East Jordan last fall, they may have noticed a new face in the hallway: behavioral health therapist Rebecca Litzner, LMSW. As a behavioral health therapist, Rebecca is there to provide support to students dealing with any kind of stressors in their lives. She is part of the East Jordan Wellness Program, a school-based mental health program that helps middle and high school students gain confidence and learn strategies to be more successful in and out of the classroom. The program launched in 2017 as a partnership between East Jordan Public Schools and the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, with funding from the Charlevoix County Community Foundation, the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, and additional state and federal funding.
By providing behavioral health services in schools, the East Jordan Wellness Program helps overcome barriers that may prevent students from accessing the support they need for mental and emotional wellness. Families don’t have to worry about transportation, time, or payment. All students need is a consent form signed by a parent, and Rebecca can help them in areas like relationship skill building, anxiety, depression, issues related to grief and loss, anger management, and helping students to develop healthy coping strategies. Rebecca works with kids and families through individual and group counseling sessions during the school day and after school.
Rebecca enjoys working directly in the schools, because she knows making counseling easily available to students is an investment in their futures. Evidence shows that students who participate in school-based behavioral health programs have significantly fewer disciplinary issues, enjoy better mental health, and perform better in school.
The East Jordan Wellness Program is the newest of the five Child and Adolescent Health Programs operated by the health department. These programs bring inclusive medical and behavioral health care directly to students. Services aim to achieve the best possible physical, intellectual, and emotional status of children and adolescents by providing services that are high quality, accessible, and acceptable to youth. The health department’s five school health programs operate with the belief that healthier students learn better, better learners graduate, and higher graduation rates result in healthier communities.
Join us in the mission to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Charlevoix County, now and for generations to come, through grants like this one. The Community Foundation helps local people make a difference close to home.