MSD offers mental health services to families

Terry RogersEducation, Headlines

At the regular November meeting of the Milford School District Board of Education, Dr. Brittany Hazzard, Supervisor of Equity and Support Services, provided details on the mental health services provided to district students and families. Dr. Hazzard explained that the district not only offers internal mental health supports but also external supports as well as training.

“In September, it was requested that we provide some feedback on mental health services,” Dr. Hazzard said. “In addition, September was Suicide Prevention Month which brought this to light. In each building, we have at least one school psychologist and one school counselor. Some of our schools have more than one counselor. WE also have behavioral specialists, school nurses and others who are aware of mental health supports.”

Dr. Hazzard explained that the district has two new behavior interventionists this year as well as behavior support paraprofessionals. At Morris, there is a school psychologist, a counselor and a nurse, as well as a behavior support paraprofessional. Banneker, Ross and Mispillion each have a school psychologist, student and family interventionist, behavior support and school nurse. Banneker has one school counselor while Ross and Morris each have two.

At the Milford Central Academy, there is a school psychologist, student and family interventionist and school nurse. There are also three counselors and two behavior support paraprofessionals. Milford High School has a school psychologist, student and family interventionist and school nurse as well as four counselors and two behavior support paraprofessionals. In addition to these in-house supports, the Visiting Teacher also assists with mental health issues.

“We also have external mental health resources that we can access,” Dr. Hazzard said. “We work with Delaware Guidance Services, People’s Place, Courageous Hearts and Lifelines. Our Wellness Center supports students in grades 8 through 12. We also have access to external family crisis therapists. Recently, we had suicide risk training for psychologists, nurses and counselors. We are always working diligently to be sure our students have the support they need. We recognize mental health as a high priority, and we provide services at the highest level.”

Vice-President of the Board of Education, Rony Baltazar-Lopez, commended Dr. Hazzard on the mental health services offered to families in the district.

“I want to commend you and your staff for all you do, especially after the pandemic, as we have seen a rise in students with mental health problems,” Baltazar-Lopez said. “Do you track the number of calls we get for assistance and has there been a rise in our district?”

Dr. Hazzard explained that they do track the number of students seeking help and noted that it is a concern nationally that more students are seeking mental health assistance. Baltazar-Lopez also asked if HB100, which could increase the number of psychologists in elementary schools in Delaware would impact Milford.

“We believe that HB100 would impact us in a very positive way,” Dr. Hazzard said. “it would allow us to increase our mental health services.

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