Roanoke City Schools is aiming to break down barriers and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health care by providing students with virtual mental healthcare services through a partnership with Hazel Health. Superintendent Verletta White emphasized the importance of support for everyone and stated that these services are funded through the American Rescue Plan, meaning there is no cost to the students.
The decision to provide these services was influenced by requests from students within the district, who expressed the need for greater access to mental health services. Through this virtual platform, students can connect with licensed therapists and address a range of emotional and psychological needs. White highlighted the potential impact on student performance and attendance, emphasizing the importance of emotional well-being for academic success.
In addition to addressing general mental health needs, the partnership with Hazel Health aims to provide support for students who have experienced trauma, ensuring that all students, regardless of language or socioeconomic status, can access the help they need. The program has already seen participation from students across various schools in the district.
Looking ahead, Roanoke City School officials are also working to add physical telehealth services through Hazel Health in the near future, further expanding the range of support available to students. The focus remains on promoting overall wellness and addressing the diverse needs of the student population.