Originally published by Kelsey Christensen, KMTR News 16

MAPLETON, Ore. – Some schools in western Lane County will be getting behavioral health services for students and their families.

It’s all part of an award to Western Lane Behavioral Health Network.

The money’s coming from federal and PeaceHealth grants and the Peace Harbor Medical Center Foundation.

It will allow the Siuslaw and Mapleton school districts to renovate existing spaces to create community resource centers.

PeaceHealth will staff the centers with behavioral therapists for students and their families, that typically travel long distances for behavioral health appointments.

“A lot of our kiddos, it’s a 45 minute drive to Florence and sometimes even longer than that depending on where they live in Deadwood or Swiss Home or up Sweet Creek, so it provides a centrally located place for them to come and get services that they need,” says Jodi O’Mara, superintendent for the Mapleton School District.

O’ Mara says having behavioral health services in the school will give students more time to learn in the classrooms, and fill a need for students that could help set them up for success in the future.

“Most of our counselors employed by the schools spend most of their time doing academic services, and they do some group work, but most school counselors aren’t licensed and trained to do individual therapy work,” says Andrew Grzeskowiak, superintendent for the Siuslaw School District.

The community resource centers are expected to be up and running by this fall.