Starting in the fall, more area districts will make space in their schools to house mental health counselors, as Northern Rivers, working with the Capital Region BOCES, looks to expand its services in area schools. Northern Rivers is in discussion with as many as 10 area districts interested in establishing mental health clinics, which can range from a single counselor making regular visits to a school to space set aside for a full-time counselor, depending on a district’s needs and resources.
Some of the districts, including Niskayuna, Schalmont and Guilderland, included plans to partner with Northern Rivers in their annual budget process. This year, Capital Region BOCES also took a more active role. “Pick up a phone and call any district in New York state, and I would be shocked if they didn’t see a need for these services,” said Capital Region BOCES Senior Executive Joe Dragone, who oversaw school-based mental health services as an administrator in Albany and Ballston Spa school districts.