Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityKPS set to launch new student assistance program; a 24/7/365 counseling and text therapy | KHGI
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KPS set to launch a new 24/7/365 counseling and text therapy service for students

Student texting on a phone. (Photo Credit: NTV News)
Student texting on a phone. (Photo Credit: NTV News)
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According to a recent study by Mental Health America, over 2.5 million youth in the U.S. have severe depression and nearly 1 in 3 are going without treatment.

The stress of classes can take a toll on any student, but help will soon be a quick text away.

“As well as some live telephone therapy sessions, up to five," said Jason Mundorf, KPS superintendent.

Starting January 2023, Kearney Public Schools is launching a free student assistance program– 24/7/365 counseling for students grades 6 through 12.

But they’re not doing it alone, KPS is teaming up with Livewell Counseling, McKenna’s Rae of Hope and Buffalo County Community Partners.

“This could be a great opportunity to kind of bridge that gap that needs to get students into services faster and hopefully bridge them back into the community if they need longer services," said Jesica Vickers with LiveWell Counseling in Kearney.

The program was designed to meet the student and their needs right at their fingertips.

“You don’t have to walk down to the counselors and take a chance at somebody seeing you and using you as a target for that, you can connect with somebody in a private and personal manner," said Todd Schirmer with McKenna's Rae of Hope Foundation.

Counseling sessions will be an hour long while text therapy is unlimited.

Another key piece is offering bilingual therapy.

“There’s only a handful, actually less than a handful of the bilingual therapists in our community so this will bring a lot of different languages to our community. It will be a virtual format so we’re very, very excited about that," said Denise Zwiener, executive director of Buffalo County Community Partners .

Mundorf said the next step is getting parental consent which KPS plans to send home with students after their holiday break.

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“Our hope is to get long-term counseling support then they can go to a local therapist to provide that as that wait time frees up and the opportunity becomes available," said Mundorf.

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