By Noelani Tillson Staff writer
New mental health counselors, Samantha Funk and Tami Hert are available to all students here at Kayhi and are free in the counseling center starting Wednesday Sept. 16. A grant funded program started for the high schools and possibly Schoenbar. Another grant was just approved to supply the same services for the elementary schools. Funk said this program was made to provide easier access to counseling for all students.
“I think what primarily piqued the interest for the grant is the lack of services in town and the lack of accessible services,” said Funk. “There are so many barriers to services at Gateway and even at KIC.”
From a medical model, in take packets and scheduling all of which are not easily accessible. Funk said for underserved populations, homeless youth it’s not a realistic system.
“The services are free regardless of insurance, they’re 100% accessible in the sense that any kid can come walk-in for any reason,” said Funk. “I think what really started it all and what made KIC and WISH so interested in the grant is the accessibility of it all.”
Mrs. O’Brien said that the program was made because it was decided that it was as needed in the community that teens have a hard time accessing.
“This was actually planned for last fall but with the pandemic and working to get people in here we are just now able to get this all started,” said O’Brien. “It’s targeted at the high school that’s why they’re actually here in the counselors’ office.”