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Eligible students in Waynesboro receiving mental health treatment, counseling

Crystal Graham

elk hillChildren struggling with emotional and behavioral needs in Waynesboro have new options for treatment during the school day.

Elk Hill, providing mental health services to children across Central Virginia, has expanded its services to Kate Collins Middle School, William Perry Elementary School and Valley Academy, to provide Therapeutic Day Treatment to Medicaid-eligible students.

Child outpatient counseling will also be offered at Berkeley Glenn Elementary School.

“Elk Hill is pleased to partner with Waynesboro schools by providing individualized counseling. We hope this will lead to expanded services across the district,” said Dr. Laura Easter, Chief Operating Officer of Elk Hill.

The day treatment offers:

  • Weekly individual counseling with behavior and emotional support in the classroom
  • Weekly psycho-therapy groups to improve social functioning and emotional regulation
  • Teacher support related to mental health as well as collaborate on student and/or classroom needs.
  • Serve as a communication liaison between school and home

Being able to provide these services during the school day allows children to be more successful within traditional classrooms and eliminates barriers including transportation and busy family schedules, according to Elk Hill.

The new services began in Waynesboro on Feb. 1.

“The services Elk Hill provides are convenient for families because the services take place in our schools and the services support the social, emotional and mental health of our students at school so they can more fully access the instruction our teachers provide,” said Ryan Barber, Assistant Superintendent for Waynesboro Public Schools. “Elk Hill has a long tradition of providing excellent services to children and our school division is proud to partner in this important endeavor.

“When children get the support they need, they are more fully able to take advantage of all of the opportunities available in our school division.”

Elk Hill served more than 800 children and families last year. Elk Hill has been serving Augusta and Staunton Public Schools since 2017 offering Therapeutic Day Treatment, outpatient counseling and equine therapy.

Elk Hill has schools in Staunton, Charlottesville and Goochland.

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Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.