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Learning beyond the classroom: Indian Hill School District & MindPeace

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During the 2018-2019 school year, 115 students within the Indian Hill School District were served through a partner in well-being. MindPeace, a Cincinnati leader in school-based mental health partnerships, has worked with Indian Hill Schools the past five years to help ensure that students and their families have access to quality school-based mental health treatment services. Working with Indian Hill School District administrators, MindPeace helped facilitate the process of selecting a leading school-based mental health partner, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and MindPeace continues to provide partnership assistance resulting in access for families at all grade levels through co-located, school-based therapists from Cincinnati Children's. In addition, a mental wellness team that includes staff and partners works together to provide education and training and suicide prevention programming for students, families and staff. 

“The social and emotional well-being of our students is of paramount importance for us as educators, and our District has invested in this partnership over time to ensure our students have increased access to exceptional, high-quality therapeutic intervention,” said Indian Hill Assistant Superintendent Dr. Melissa Stewart. “With the addition of three full-time therapists, there is less wait time for students to access therapy, and there is less disruption to their schedules because the therapist is on site. This is absolutely what is right for our children.” 

“The national statistics are alarming: one in six youth, between the ages of six and 17, experience a mental health disorder each year,” said School Psychologist Amy Van Strien, who provides services to both Indian Hill Middle School and Indian Hill High School. “We want to equip children with the tools to handle challenges that may come their way. 

“In addition to academic skills and physical health, children need to engage in activities that promote brain health in order to understand and manage their emotions. Children in each building engage in social-emotional learning to develop perseverance, optimism, self-awareness and other important contributors to success so they can build and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions. Having access to school-based therapists ensures that we have a continuum of services.”

In addition to the work that the mental health therapists do with students, our mental wellness team works together to provide professional development for staff and parents, implement universal screening for mental wellness, and provide consultation as needed.

“We appreciate all MindPeace has done to help our Braves grow the past five years, including their recent help setting up the stations for social emotional learning and providing assistance with measuring impact for our new Indian Hill Elementary School BRAVE Room,” said Dr. Stewart. “Providing a space for students to utilize in order to calm their mind or body, reduce stress, recharge, and learn strategies needed to regulate their emotions throughout the school day is important for learning, and it is through valuable partnerships like this one that make that possible at Indian Hill.” 

Photo caption: The Indian Hill Elementary School BRAVE Room was featured by Ohio State Superintendent Dr. Paolo DeMaria on his Twitter account during a tour in October 2019.