Through Counseling In Schools’ (CIS) partnership with the Children’s Health Fund (CHF) on the Healthy and Ready to Learn (HRL) Initiative, CIS has provided effective mental health support to P.S. 140X – The Eagle School since the 2014/2015 academic year. Suzanne Pasette (“Suzy”) LCAT, ATR, a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, was hired by CIS to service P.S. 140X. Her knowledge, experience, and driven nature have improved the overall success rates of attendance and test scores at the school and significantly improved attendance and test scores for students on her caseload (refer to charts to the right). Suzy and PS 140 were supported by a program manager, Patty Hennessy who collaborated closely with the CHF team and provided “Care for the Caregiver” workshops to teachers at PS 140. Suzy also received clinical supervision from Karen Bagnini, LCSW, LCAT in an effort to support Suzy with the tremendous clinical needs of students and families on her caseload. Additionally, Janna Bruner, LCSW-R is a Program Director who provided oversight of services for the past two years at PS 140. An important aspect of sharing the names of the multitude of supports offered to Suzy is to illustrate how essential connections and layered supports are in order to achieve success in all aspects of life.
Suzy has collaborated with the CHF School Health Coordinator, school administration, and school community to provide in-depth individual, group, and family counseling services to 4% of the school’s student population. CIS created a solid framework in which Suzy’s role has positively impacted over 60 families in the two years she’s worked at the school and over 28 families in the 2015/2016 academic year alone. Students on Suzy’s caseload are counseled at least once a week in individual or group counseling sessions. In addition, families facing severe difficulties are offered family counseling sessions to help increase the support system of the students in and outside of school. Parents are kept engaged throughout the academic year during parent sessions, teacher conferences, association meetings, family fun-nights, workshops, and educational trainings. Suzy uses creative arts therapy to work with her students and families in providing methods of creative self-expression (refer to pages 2-6 for counseling artwork). CIS’ support for PS 140 increased this past school year by providing staff development workshops for teachers. These workshops directly addressed the emotional needs of the teachers, helping them see the care-giver role they play.
To underline the success of Counseling in Schools at P.S. 140X, parents, teachers, and school administrators have collaboratively submitted letters of support to signify the important need for CIS to remain full-time at the school in 2016 to 2017.