Portland, Oregon —
More than 50% of lifetime mental health disorders begin before the age of 14. At any given time, in a classroom of 30 students, three or more are likely to be struggling with a mental disorder, which impacts their ability to learn and thrive. Children and youth in elementary schools with mental health problems are more likely to do poorly at school, be absent, and/or be suspended or expelled. These factors are magnified by the time students reach high school.
Recognizing the need to provide children with much-needed mental health services, the Tigard-Tualatin School District is ramping up its efforts to identify students with mental health disorders and provide them with the services they need to succeed in and out of the classroom, thanks to a grant from the Cambia Health Foundation.
The Cambia Health Foundation has awarded $248,466 to the Tigard-Tualatin School District to support ongoing mental health coordination efforts within the school district, which currently serves more than 12,000 students. It will also support mental health services at the district’s new Tualatin School-Based Health Center that is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.
“The Cambia Health Foundation is proud to partner with the Tigard-Tualatin School District to address this vital component of children’s overall health and well-being,” said Kathleen Pitcher Tobey, program officer at the Cambia Health Foundation. “We are committed to investing in the health of our communities with support for innovative, highly collaborative projects like this, which focus on proven, evidence-based solutions. The Tigard-Tualatin School District’s programs are exactly the kind of public-private partnerships we strive to develop across the state.”
The goals of the integrated mental health initiative include: a) improving early identification of students in need of mental health services; b) further developing and sustaining a seamless and integrated system of school-based primary care and mental health services and c) reducing racial and ethnic disparities in gaining access to mental and physical health care services.
“This grant is critical to achieving our goal of fully integrating mental health and primary care services for our students. This level of coordination provides children with a high level of care and subsequently affects their school attendance, performance and ability to graduate from high school,” said Ernie Brown, superintendent of the Tigard-Tualatin School District. “Support from private partners with our other public partners helps us put innovative programs like this one into action and delivers positive results for our children, their families and our community.”
Other partners in this project include: The Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, Lifeworks NW, Washington County Mental Health Division, Pacific Research and Evaluation and the Washington County Juvenile Department and Washington County Health and Human Services.
About Tigard-Tualatin School District
The Tigard-Tualatin School District (TTSD) is a school district in south Washington County serving over 12,341 students The mission of Tigard-Tualatin School District is to educate every child with a vision to ensure every child thrives in school and graduates prepared to succeed.
For the past four years, Tigard-Tualatin School District (TTSD) has piloted and developed Mental Health Care Coordination services to all schools in the district. TTSD has also operated, in partnership with Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center (medical sponsor), a School-Based Health Center (SBHC) at Tigard High School and will be opening a second at Tualatin High School in fall 2014.
About Cambia Health Foundation
Cambia Health Foundation is the corporate foundation of Cambia Health Solutions, a total health solutions company dedicated to transforming the way people experience the health care system. A 501(c)3 grantmaking organization, the Foundation partners with organizations to create a more person-focused and economically sustainable health care system. Through its recently launched children’s health program area, the Foundation seeks to partner with community and school-based organizations that are pursuing holistic, integrated approaches to addressing children’s health issues. For more information, visit http://cambiahealthfoundation.org/