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Far western Ky. school districts adopt mental health program’s tool

Fons Cervera

A new program is being introduced in several far western Kentucky school districts to help connect students, staff and their families with mental health resources in their area.

Lyon County, Marshall County, and Graves County have all taken steps to integrate Care Solace, a program that helps individuals find providers of mental health services, into their districts.

Care Solace case managers evaluate a person’s needs and available insurance to direct them to a professional best suited to help.

Sara Tittle, a mental health professional for Lyon County Schools, hopes to see the community take advantage of the service.

“We will see kids gaining access to needed mental health services,” Tittle said. “Parents gaining access to mental health services… [and] see kids feeling a lot more supported.”Care Solace will ask individuals what type of mental health service they’re looking for and if they possess any insurance. The case manager will then find at least two different options of service providers for individuals to choose from. Tittle said Care Solace will do all this in 11 days or less.

Despite mental health being plagued by stigmas and misconceptions, Tittle said people should not delay seeking necessary treatment.

“I believe that health is health, and they call it mental health for a reason. Because it is a part of health, I would encourage people that you can only feel sick to your stomach for so long. You can only feel a pain in your foot for so long before you would say ‘I need to check on my physical health,’” she said. “Mental health is also health, and – if we can help bridge that gap – it will be worth it.”

Tittle said the program will also be available to the families of students and staff in the school district. Marshall County, Lyon County and Graves Countyare footing the costs of the mental health coordination service.

Marshall County superintendent Steve Miracle and Graves County superintendent Matthew Maddening both agree that the mental health of their student body is a top priority.

“Right now, you've got three counties that are in close proximity– Lyon, Marshal and Graves– That is using [Care Solace], and the result is about the same in each community where probably half of the community has access to this,” Miracle said.” “Hopefully, as this continues to grow, it will provide a great benefit for all the schools.”

Zacharie Lamb is a music major at Murray State University and is a Graves County native.
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