Roanoke City Schools is taking steps to break down barriers and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health care. Superintendent Verletta White believes that everyone can benefit from some support at times, and the school system has partnered with Hazel Health to provide students with virtual mental healthcare services at no cost. This partnership was initiated in response to requests from students in the district who expressed a need for access to more mental health services.
The program aims to help students deal with trauma-related issues, regardless of the type of trauma they have experienced, and also promotes the emotional, social, and psychological well-being of students in order to improve their school performance and attendance. Hazel Health offers services in multiple languages, ensuring that a diverse student population in Roanoke City can access the help they need. Since its launch, 18 students from 12 different schools have utilized the program.
White emphasized that addressing the emotional, social, and psychological well-being of students is crucial for their overall success in school and life beyond. The school officials are also working to add physical telehealth services through Hazel Health in the near future, which will provide even more comprehensive support for students. White believes that the overall goal is to promote wholeness and wellness for all students, regardless of their background or circumstances.