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Building Forward: CCSD to meet mental health needs with day treatment facility

Mental health can have a significant impact on students as well as their peers and the adults around them, but many students who need a therapeutic setting cannot currently access one. 

In the past eight years, the number of facilities in Colorado for students with mental health needs has decreased by more than half. This can have a negative effect on students’ ability to learn, grow and thrive.

“We have students in crisis walking our hallways,” Assistant Superintendent of Special Populations Dr. Tony Poole said. “When those students don’t get the help they need, it can be devastating. To our knowledge, we will be the first school district in the nation to build and run our own clinical-level day treatment facility where students can get wrap-around mental health support while continuing their education.”

Thanks to the generosity of voters, the 2020 bond funds will allow the district to provide clinical-level day treatment to students in crisis with the construction of a mental health facility. The facility will offer three levels of support to students in grades 4 through 12 depending on need. On a yearly basis, the district has approximately 75 students in day treatment at an average cost of $1.5 million, but many more students could be served if not for the barriers of insurance or availability. 

The option of a district-run facility will allow more students to receive the intensive care they need, as well as the support to transition smoothly back to their home schools. Most treatment facilities do not take an educationally integrated approach, opening the door for challenges when the student eventually returns to school. 

“Providing a clinical environment where students can continue their education means students don’t miss out on opportunities and are better supported when they do return to their school,” Poole added. “We are incredibly excited for this opportunity to make sure our students get the chance to be their best selves now and in the future.”


Posted 5/19/21.