LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Mental health is a hot topic for schools -- how to best serve students and staff when needs only continue to grow.
Bullitt County Public Schools (BCPS) is taking the first step to expand access to mental health resources by working with Care Solace, a program that connects students, staff and their families with access to a mental health service any time they need.
The program is available at no cost and accepts all medical insurances, including Medicare and Medicaid.
Bullitt County is one of the first school districts in Kentucky to partner with Care Solace. They've been using the program since November 2022 and have been experiencing positive results. They want to increase its awareness.
"We have provided 46 referrals so far just within the past 30 days that we have been utilizing this program," Sarah Smith, BCPS director of safe and drug free schools, said.
Out of those 46 referrals, 19 families already have appointments.
A spokesperson for BCPS says Care Solace provides school systems with a customized online tool that gives community members a way to anonymously search for community-based providers matched to their needs.
"As much as we've expanded mental health in our district, we also found out that there is still a need out there that is just not being addressed," Smith said. "That need is outside support, support for our families/our students, support for our students outside of school and support for our staff."
Officials say Care Solace’s care navigation system uses "proprietary technology" and a "vast database of behavioral and mental health care resources" to find verified therapists and programs. If there is a need, Care Solace can also help with substance abuse.
"We always want what's best for everyone and I feel like that there is nothing negative to this," Smith said. "It would only help other school districts too utilize a program like this."
The Care Solace service is a free service to Bullitt County Schools students, staff and their families. For more information about Care Solace, please click here.