Press Release: Elected Officials Support Funding for School-Based Health Centers in Connecticut
PRESS RELEASE Contact: Lynn Fairfield-Sonn Phone: 860-443-2896 x1403
Elected Officials Support Funding for School-Based Health Centers in Connecticut
Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut calls for increased funding for School-Based Health Centers that provide critical mental, physical healthcare for children
February 24, 2015 (Hartford, Conn.) – Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut was joined by Representative Diana Urban at the Legislative Office Building to support funding for School-Based Health Centers in Connecticut. February is National School-Based Health Center Month and this year marks the 25th anniversary of the first School-Based Health Center (SBHC) in New London County.
“We are happy elected officials here in Hartford recognize the importance of School-Based Health Centers that serve 8,000 students in Southeastern Connecticut,” said Rick Calvert, Child and Family Agency CEO. “SBHCs have proven to be optimal settings to foster learning readiness and academic achievement while giving children the resources they need to improve their physical and mental health. However, the Governor’s proposed budget released last week would result in a $525,000 loss of grant funding that is crucial to maintaining the Child and Family Agency SBHC services in our schools. We urge the General Assembly to consider the impact that SBHCs have on the lives of children and families in their communities and support these programs with increased funding.”
Students enrolled in Child and Family Agency’s SBHCs can obtain comprehensive physical and mental health services such as physicals, minor acute illness care, health promotion and disease prevention education, as well as group, individual and/or family therapy.
“SBHCs are vital to keeping Connecticut’s children healthy mentally and physically,” said Representative Diana Urban. “Because SBHCs are located right in the school, the child has virtually no barriers to overcome to receive care.”
SBHCs are licensed by DPH as Outpatient Clinics and are staffed by Certified Nurse Practitioners and Masters-prepared Mental Health Clinicians.
“With SBHCs, kids get care they need in a familiar, confidential environment,” said JoAnn Eaccarino, Child and Family Agency’s Associate Director of School-Based Health Services. “School staff can communicate with SBHC providers and identify students who are struggling. A key benefit is the follow-up that the SBHCs can provide to make sure these kids are making progress.”
A letter from a student who used Child and Family SBHC services read by JoAnn Eaccarino states, “the therapists and psychiatrists who have helped me through this tumultuous time in my life will forever have my gratitude and respect. Perhaps the most important thing the mental health professionals at Child and Family taught me is that I am not defined by my disorders. I have learned that I possess the power to overcome challenges that block my path to success.”
About Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut: Child & Family’s mission is to promote the well-being and development of all children and their families, focusing in particular on the unmet needs of children lacking physical, emotional and intellectual care and nurturing. Programs deal with children’s mental health, child abuse prevention, the treatment of family violence, teen pregnancy, children’s health care, childcare, and parent education. Last year families were served in 79 towns in New Haven, Middlesex and New London Counties, the Child & Family Agency service region. Visit our website to learn more, volunteer, or donate: www.childandfamilyagency.org