POCATELLO — A local mental health care provider maintains a caseload of about 25 children, and they all come from the student body at Irving Middle School.
Last fall, the therapist, who is a licensed clinical social worker and an advanced certified alcohol and drug counselor with Health West Community Health Center, moved her office into Irving and started taking referrals from the school's counselors. The name has been withheld to protect the anonymity of her student clients.
The therapist is involved in a unique partnership between Health West and Pocatello-Chubbuck School District 25 that's making access to mental health care far more convenient for local children and their families. It's worked so well, the school district intends to partner with Health West to staff mental health care professionals in Jefferson Elementary School and Indian Hills Elementary School in the fall of 2020.
"It's giving them an outlet to come and get that support," the therapist said.
Health West officials say they've also started discussions about partnering with a few additional schools, including one outside of School District 25.