One of the markers of the Mariemont Experience is the personalized opportunity presented to each student in the district. In alignment with Destination 2026, Mariemont City Schools is committed to turning schooling into an event in which students are deeply engaged, find passion, and experience practice in their learning. Every child has different interests and different needs in their education and must be met where they are with opportunities tailored to those interests and needs.
The Mariemont City School District partners with Child Focus, Inc. to provide additional counseling services to all four of our schools through two licensed therapists, Kelly Lean and Caitlin Smith. Kelly works with both elementary schools while Caitlin splits her time with the junior high and high school.
Nationally, Child Focus’ mission is to join with communities in improving the quality of life for children, families and adults. Within the district, Lean and Smith work with students and families to educate about mental health, participate in skill building and work to improve performance and overall health at school, home and in the community.
Child Focus also partners with our schools on various mental health initiatives, including the Signs of Suicide program completed every year for the district’s eighth and 10th graders.
“I believe it is vitally important to have the Child Focus staff onsite, as we are able to provide more in-depth mental health services to the students that require assistance” said Smith. “While the guidance counselors do great work, they have so many facets of school life to focus on that they are not necessarily able to spend time working on the more in-depth mental health needs with students who require more intervention. Child Focus staff work closely with the guidance counselors to assist with identifying students who may be appropriate for services and coordinating care in order to ensure that the students have the resources they need within the school setting.”
Lean agreed with that sentiment, adding “The therapists can specialize in more consistent and intense counseling services where school counselors have many more responsibilities in their day for regular services.”
According to Smith, she and Lean work closely with the school guidance counselors and psychologists each day. Those staff members will refer students that have been identified as needing some assistance, but students and parents may also self-refer to the guidance counselors if they feel services are needed.
“The students benefit from these services because they are able to obtain mental health services during the school day, in order to prevent interruptions to other parts of their lives.” Smith explained.
And as with many programs that make up the Mariemont Experience, the benefits of Child Focus services will make a long-lasting impression on the students its serves. “These services aid to decrease non-academic barriers to learning and improve mental health factors that contribute to success after graduation” said Lean.
“If the students are able to work on skill building, prioritizing their mental health, and reducing anxiety and other symptoms, they are going to find themselves to be more prepared to deal with the various stresses of university life” said Smith. “Not only will they have skills and techniques to take with them moving forward to help them thrive, but Child Focus can also make referrals as needed within the campus community where the student is attending in order to continue to connect them to resources in the event they are needed.”
If you would like to make a referral or learn more about Child Focus, Inc. in Mariemont City Schools contact any school guidance counselor.