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Telehealth for mental health care in rural schools

Telehealth can help provide mental health care to students living in rural places.

School counselor sitting next to child with special needs looking at a computer screen

About 1 out of 5 kids has a mental or emotional health problem. But only 1 out of 5 of those kids gets help from a mental health expert. Telehealth can help provide behavioral health care.

Kansas University Medical Center (KUMC) is using telehealth to help schools provide mental health services. KUMC’s program is Telehealth Regional Outreach to Communities, Kids, and Schools (Telehealth ROCKS). This program helps children who have mental health challenges. This includes students with stress, depression, or learning challenges.

The program manager said, “the key to success is an established partnership between state and local entities”. KUMC partners with the Department of Education and the Department for Aging and Disability Services. They also work with local school groups and a health center. This lets students have options for their mental health care through telehealth. Parents and caregivers play a big role, too.

“The key to success is an established partnership between state and local entities.”

One important thing they learned is to think of everyone's needs. The project has grown to help with things that affect children’s mental health. This includes getting enough food or having a safe place to live.

“We have never faced a time of greater student behavioral health needs matched with community innovation to meet these needs.”

The program is about creating connections and helping people. Telehealth can help support children with mental health needs. A psychologist said, “we have never faced a time of greater student behavioral health needs matched with community innovation to meet these needs.” Telehealth can help support children with behavioral health needs.