Breaking down the social stigma of mental health issues in Butte is high on the list of the new Project Aware case managers.
Linking services and building safer schools are other goals of the Butte school district’s hires, who gave a run-down of the multi-layered program to the suicide prevention coalition on Thursday.
“Our goal is to build a bridge between school and home services and mental health needs for kids,” said Ashley Choquette.
She is one of four new case managers headquartered at the Butte High Career Center, 1050 S. Montana St., formerly the Webster-Garfield Building. They’re funded by a grant. (See info box.)
As Butte school district employees, Choquette and her colleagues shared with 25 healthcare, law enforcement and education experts their blueprint for making Butte kids safe and healthier.
“By empowering the community, we’ve learned how to reach out,” said case manager Kaylee Reynolds.
Project Aware case managers will serve as a liaison among schools, parents and community services across the board and at all levels in the school district.
They will train school staff in Youth Mental Health First Aid, a suicide prevention program aimed at raising awareness of mental health issues, warning signs and early-childhood trauma.
They will visit all schools regularly, make bi-monthly home visits, assist in Olweus Bullying Prevention Program training and help create treatment plans for identified students who need extra support.