Norwich Schools Work To Revamp Mental Health Services

By: Catherine Sasso

Norwich schools work to revamp mental health services Interim Superintendent Diana Bowers is working with multiple agencies to improve staff development and assist children with different behavioral needs. Bowers is working to keep Chenango County Behavioral Health Services accessible to students of all ages. (Photo by Grady Thompson)

NORWICH – Norwich School District is revamping the mental health services available for students, starting with bringing back a mental health counselor from the Chenango County Behavioral Health Services (CCBHS) to work in the primary and middle school.

After having to discontinue the previous CCBHS mental health counselors position due to budget cuts, a Norwich church was able to make up the cost.

“There seemed to be a little bit of a disconnect between the district and Chenango County mental health. Which I think at this point has been fixed. There was an issue that caused the conversation to begin and then the local parishes stepped up and provided some funding to allow it to happen again this year and we've had nothing but the best of luck this year,” said Norwich Interim Superintendent Diana Bowers.

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Although the county position had been cut, Bowers reassures that there are still mental health services through the school district.

“I think there was some confusion last year as to what support services we have. We have psychologists, social workers, and guidance counselors in all of our buildings. The mental health counselor is supporting them and actually acts as a liaison between Chenango County and our district,” explained Bowers.

However, the district recognizes the importance of a Chenango County mental health counselor having a role within the schools.

“I think the biggest benefit for any of our children having a safe adult that they can go to and feel confident with is very important for our kids regardless of their age. Whether its prekindergarten or a senior in high school,” said Bowers.

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