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APS pursuing grant for additional behavioral health counselor

Submitted by on February 14, 2020 – 12:56 amNo Comment

Behavioral health counselors have been helping students of Alpena Public Schools for nearly a decade.

The district has been expanding social and emotional health services since fall 2011 when a medical clinic opened inside Lincoln Elementary School, which also offers behavioral health services for students and the surrounding community.

Full time behavioral health counselors are currently available at Lincoln, the high school and Besser elementary, with part time counselors at all other buildings.

APS is applying for a $75,000 grant to pay for another full time counselor who could be used at various locations, although the greatest need is at the junior high school. Meaghan Gauthier, Director of K-12 Instruction for APS said this week, she feels confident about the district’s chances to secure the grant.

Gauthier said the service is not only needed but also well used by kids. She said students must request help, although teachers and staff can recommend to parents they take advantage of the service, which comes at a cost, typically covered by insurance.

The services, which are provided through a partnership with Alcona Health Center, are available to students and families year round. The new grant would be used to form a similar partnership with Sunrise Behavioral Health.