close

Milford Schools are closed. Visit our Extended School Closure Information Hub for the latest updates.

Departments

Will Cates

School-Based Mental Health Services

William Cates MS, LPC, NCC

Comprehensive Mental Health Support Specialist

Milford Exempted Village Schools

Email: cates_w@milfordschools.org

Phone: 513-576-2284

 

Community Presentations on Mental Health

MJHS Family Empowerment Series-November 5, 2018

Managing your Middle School Child’s Anxiety & Depression (pdf)

MEVSD Mental Health Processes and Referral Procedures

Prevention & Case Management Services:

If a student exhibits marked social or emotional difficulties, recurrent behavioral concerns, or challenges in their home-environment which cause a disruption to their adaptive functioning in the academic environment, it might be an indication that they are struggling with treatable mental health symptoms.

Notify and/or consult with your building administrator, or appointed/appropriate building staff member (e.g., school psychologist, professional school counselor) to determine if a prevention referral to the school-based Child Focus service provider is indicated. – see building administrative staff for preference.

If it is determined that a prevention referral is appropriate, identify and agree on who will be completing the referral form.

Prior to completing and submitting a prevention referral form, make contact with the parent/guardian regarding your concerns, and notify the parent/guardian of your intent to refer the student for prevention services with the school-based Child Focus service-provider.

This is important for a number of reasons:

1. It lets the parent/guardian know that their child is experiencing difficulties in school (the parent/guardian may not have previously been aware). The parent/guardian may be able to take action at home to help address the concerns the student is experiencing.

2. It forms the foundational dynamic for the school and family to collaboratively address the student’s needs.

3. It prepares the parent/guardian for the paperwork which will be sent home by the Child Focus service-provider. If a referral is made without a parent/guardian’s knowledge, it might appear as though the school is making decisions regarding mental health treatment for the student without the parent/guardian’s consent. This puts our mental health service providers in a challenging position to explain, on the school’s behalf, why the student was referred for mental health services. 

If notification has been made and/or permission obtained by the parent/guardian, you will find blank referral forms and a folder in the Child Focus mailbox in the main office. Complete the referral form as accurately as possible, and place the completed referral in the folder. 

The Child Focus service-provider will meet with the student within 10 days of receiving the referral, and they will determine the appropriate level of care (e.g., limited prevention services, case management, therapy). The Child Focus service-provider will complete the necessary referrals for additional and/or more intensive services. 

Mental Health Therapy (MHS, MJHS, & MSA):

For staff at Milford High School, Milford Junior High School, and Milford Success Academy: referrals to the Children’s Home of Cincinnati for school-based therapy services will only be handled by our school counselors, school psychologist, Child Focus service-providers, or appropriate building administrative staff.

Mental health therapy services are determined on a case-by-case basis to ensure that we are providing these services to the students with the greatest level of need. There are a number of items to consider prior to making a therapy referral (e.g., identifying if previous or alternative services have been attempted, severity of mental health concerns, insurance/affordability). Therefore, consultation with our mental health therapists or the district’s comprehensive mental health support specialist prior to referral is preferred.

Risk-Assessment

If a student’s mental health symptoms appear to be pronounced to the degree which the student might be at-risk to cause serious harm to themselves and/or others, a risk-assessment may be indicated. The district’s comprehensive mental health support specialist, Will Cates, can conduct a risk-assessment. Ideally, a preliminary screening will have been conducted prior to moving forward with a risk-assessment.

The preliminary screening can be conducted by your building’s Child Focus service-provider, school counselors, or school psychologist. If it is determined that a risk-assessment is indicated, the individual completing the preliminary screening, or building administrative staff, will contact Will Cates to request that a risk-assessment be conducted. 

 

MEVSD: Mental Health Services & Descriptions

Consultation (Child Focus, Inc.):

Mental health service providers offer consultation to administrators, teachers, parents, or other adults to recommend behavior modification strategies and to provide support or suggestions to better meet student needs. Targeted training to help school personnel promote positive mental health in the classroom is also provided upon request.

School-Based Prevention Services (Child Focus, Inc.):

Prevention services are designed to promote positive mental health, provide early identification of psychological and social problems, and reduce the risk factors associated with school failure. Qualified Mental Health Specialists (QMHS) work with students to develop effective coping skills, reduce the problematic behavior, and achieve school success.

Prevention services are short-term interventions and will be limited to 3 individual appointments, whereupon completion of the 3rd individual appointment, the QMHS will determine if the student will be referred to a prevention group, referred to a more intensive service (e.g., case management, therapy services), or discharged from services.

Case Management Services (Child Focus, Inc.):

Case management is an ongoing individualized service that is implemented with greater frequency, intensity, and duration than prevention services. Case management services require greater participation from the family and involve the diagnosis of a mental health disorder.

These services focus on addressing, resolving, or improving the management of identified “here and now” problems. Students will work more intensively with QMHS to develop coping skills and strategies to manage their symptoms, and/or the challenges encountered in their daily life. This service functions as an ongoing support to students and can be administered in the school or community. 

School-Based Therapy Services MJHS, MHS, MSA (Children’s Home of Cincinnati):

Mental health therapy services are the most intensive ongoing mental health services provided within the district. While therapy services also require greater participation from the family, lead to the diagnosis of a mental health disorder, and require the development of a treatment plan, the treatment occurs at a much deeper level than our other services.

Mental health therapy draws upon various theoretical orientations to address underlying emotional, cognitive, and/or behavioral problems which are negatively impacting an individual’s functioning. The therapist may also work with a student on the development of coping skills, but can also work with a student to explore and process more complex behavioral health concerns (e.g., trauma, grief, chronic/severe mental illness).

Risk-Assessment (MEVSD Comprehensive Mental Health Specialist):

A risk-assessment is only conducted when it is necessary to determine if a student’s mental health symptoms are pronounced to the degree which they might be at-risk to cause serious harm to themselves and/or others. We are typically trying to identify if treatment in a hospital setting is clinically indicated.

During risk-assessment, we must determine the overall level of risk with which an individual presents, and then identify what safeguards must be put into place to promote the safety of the individual and/or others around them (e.g., hospitalization, contacting local law enforcement, safety planning with family members).

The length of time required to conduct a risk-assessment varies by the student being assessed, the severity of their symptoms, and a number of other variables (e.g., resistance vs. cooperation, insight, ability to communicate clearly). Ideally, a preliminary screening will have been conducted prior to moving forward with a risk assessment.