Graves County School District partners with Mountain Comprehensive Care Center to offer students counseling
Graves County School District Superintendent Kim Dublin believes it is pertinent in light of recent events that the school district and Mountain Comprehensive Care Center entered an agreement 18 months ago. Through that agreement, the care center makes school-based counseling and therapy available for students, including any student who expresses a need.
“We started out with two or three counselors and have expanded since then into all of the Graves County schools,” said Ken Stein, chief operating officer in western Kentucky for Mountain Comprehensive Care Center, whose home office is located in Madisonville. “We now have a case manager and six school-based counselors who, together, cover all the schools in the district.”
“We’re pleased with the agreement to offer this additional level of counseling,” Dublin said. “The counselors in our schools are responsible for a number of duties prescribed by the Kentucky Department of Education. Therefore, this agreement adds an extra level of support from these added professionals in the counseling field.”
“We work with any child in the Graves County School District who expresses concern or an issue with any mental health needs,” Stein explained. “We have five different clinics in five different cities in western Kentucky. The far western Kentucky counselors all report to the Benton/Draffenville office.”
“We’re happy that Mountain Comprehensive Care Center is located near us in Madisonville,” said Graves County School director of pupil personnel Christy Puckett, “and the branch office for these counselors is even closer.”
“Our counselors all are fully-licensed and some hold bachelor’s degrees,” Stein added. “They provide psycho-educational counseling and psychotherapy. They specifically work on a number of issues with the students, including any child in the schools who expresses a need. It is hard to measure the potential things prevented from happening, but we believe we’re being very successful with treating kids and trying to catch problems before they become bigger problems.”
Stein concluded, “The support we get from the Graves County School District administration is incredible. From Superintendent Dublin to Mrs. Puckett, the director of pupil personnel; the guidance counselors and everyone else involved, we get very good support. That’s what makes our program successful.”
The Graves County School District and Mountain Comprehensive Care Center are continuing a partnership that began 18 months ago. Through it, the care center makes school-based counseling and therapy available for students, including any student who expresses a need. The leadership of both the school district and the care center believe the arrangement is a valuable tool as a proactive method to prevent bigger problems. Pictured here, from left, are Stephanie Rowland, Karisha Biggers, Denice Catlin, Ken Stein, Carrie Burnett, and Michelle Williams. Unavailable for the photo were Tara Foren and Alyssa Hebel, who work in both Marshall County and Graves County school districts. Stein is the care center’s chief operating officer, based on the home office in Madisonville. The women all are licensed counselors, based at the Benton/Madisonville office. Several of those counselors hold bachelor’s degrees.
(photo by Paul Schaumburg, Graves County Schools)