Grant funds will provide mental health and resilience programming at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School and in the community
GERMANTOWN, Wis. — Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann and the Washington County Board have awarded $47,500 in grant funds to Christian Family Solutions (CFS) to support its counseling care and services partnership with Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School (KMLHS). The grant is renewable for up to four years, for a total of $190,000. The funds will help support the placement of on-site counselors at the school, greater accessibility and affordability of counseling sessions for students on site, and community resilience training.
The funding is made available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which supports the development of innovative approaches that expand access to behavioral health services and create greater access for those in behavioral health crisis. The grant is renewable over the next four years.
CFS and KMLHS have an innovative partnership that provides a full-time CFS counselor on site at KMLHS. In the partnership’s first year, that counselor provided 521 sessions and 56 screenings for 56 students. Clinical session hours are billable and paid for through insurance reimbursements or family self-pay. Generous donors and grants are needed to cover the cost of those without insurance, as well as introductory sessions with students before beginning the process of clinical outpatient treatment.
“Through the partnership of KML and CFS, we are able to proactively address mental health challenges that have become prevalent for our teenagers,” says Dr. Jamie Luehring, President of Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School. “Through these services, we are able to help remove barriers for learning and propel these young adults to a healthy and successful future. It has been a game changer for our students.”
A recent report by the U.S. Surgeon General “Protecting Youth Mental Health” cited the increased levels of anxiety , depression, and trauma among children, teens, and young adults. Governor Tony Evers has also flagged the need for schools to actively support youth mental health, declaring 2023 “the year of mental health”in Wisconsin.
CFS currently has partnerships with 38 schools in four states. In the 2021-22 school year, these partnerships served more than 1,000 students with 9,400 sessions. While many of those sessions are billable to insurance on an outpatient basis, donors provide immediate use funds for screenings, educational activities on campus, help for underinsured, and the first few introductory sessions at no cost to the student.
“Those first few sessions are essential to create a relationship between the counselor and the student,” says Whitney Donovan, School-Based Counseling Partnership Manager for CFS. “Once a relationship is established, students can continue services using insurance coverage or parental self-pay if they are able. The partnership between the school, CFS, donors, and the county truly reduces barriers and helps make resources more affordable and accessible.”
Jamie Luehring from Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School talks about the value of donors’ contributions to school-based counseling. Watch video now. and link to youtube.
Based in Germantown, Wis., Christian Family Solutions provides outpatient counseling, day treatment, and intensive outpatient programs through its clinics in 7 states and through telehealth. For more information, visit christianfamilysolutions.org.
Pictured are (from left): Jessica Martinez, LPC-IT, school-based counselor for CFS; Dr. Jamie Luehring, president of KMLHS; County Executive Josh Schoemann; Julie Driscoll, director of Washington County Health and Human Services; Bradley Michel, chair of the CFS board of directors; and Whitney Donovan, manager of school-based partnership programs for CFS.