Citizens Advocates will offer counseling services to Potsdam elementary, middle school students
BY MATT LINDSEY
North Country This Week
POTSDAM -- Potsdam Central will partner with Citizens Advocates to offer counseling services to elementary and middle school students and their families.
PCS Superintendent Joann Chambers told the Board of Education Tuesday that she had positive news to share that would benefit students and families.“I learned recently that Citizens Advocates, which is an agency that provides behavioral services, is able to place a mental health counselor in the public school,” she said.
Citizen Advocates provides developmental disability, mental health and substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery services throughout Franklin, Clinton, Essex, Hamilton and St. Lawrence counties, according to its website.
Massena and Brasher schools already work with Citizens Advocates to offer their students mental health services.
“I think it’s a win-win for our students and a great help for our staff,” Chambers said. She said if it proves successful they could expand the program to the high school.
The school will provide space for that counselor to meet with students or families.
Chambers said the advantages to working with Citizens Advocates include children not needing to miss an entire day of school for an appointment, school counselors can work with Citizens Advocate counselors and assist each other, and they can offer family counseling.
Chambers said the partnership between the two entities requires a memorandum of agreement.
“Once that is set to go, we will need to see approval from the St. Lawrence County Community Services Board, and as long as they endorse the project then the application goes to the New York State Office of Mental Health,” she said.
The board unanimously approved the motion to add the licensed therapist.