Mental health services come to Bronx school as part of clinic program

MORRISANIA, The Bronx (PIX11) — Students in the Bronx will now have easy access to mental health services directly at their schools as part of an ongoing effort to create school-based health clinics.

PS/MS 4 has partnered with Montefiore Medical Center to officially launch the Montefiore School Health Program. Principal Vincent Resto said implementing the program will help children beyond the classroom.

“Most of the time in education, we think about the importance of academics,” Resto said. “However, while that is true, it is difficult to experience academic success while dealing with mental and physical health issues.”

This is the 33rd school where the program has been implemented, but it is in Stage 1 and mental health services are offered first. Students, including 8the grade Aniya Romero Young, are excited.

“The hope of our school is to help prevent or help control diseases, disorders, stress, so that all people can live a healthier lifestyle and that people receive the emotional support they need to thrive in this world,” Young said.

Students will be able to meet with a psychologist and, if needed, will have access to a psychiatrist, social worker, and family support worker. These are critical services that could normalize getting help at a time when many young people are experiencing hardship and isolation due to the pandemic, according to Delaney Gracy, director of clinical services for the program.

“They may not even realize they need help, but here, if we’re able to be a part of their school culture, mental health starts to become part of what’s normal every day,” Gracy said.

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Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, who has been a proponent of school-based health clinics since her days on the City Council, is a supporter.

“By providing this important component today here on the PS/MS 4 campus, you are investing in our children’s future,” Gibson said.

More than 400 students at this school will have mental health support to lean on, while medical, dental and vision services will soon follow.

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