RFSD gets state grant for health professionals | PostIndependent.com

RFSD gets state grant for health professionals

The Roaring Fork Schools received $222,273 this year through two Colorado Department of Education School Health Professional Grants.

This highly competitive grant program supports the addition of prevention specialists in schools to provide substance abuse and behavioral health care to students. The grant supports these prevention specialists:

• Sonja Linman, Glenwood Springs schools: Linman is a longtime Yampah Mountain High School teacher and advocate for strong alcohol and other drug prevention and intervention programs.

• Anne Chatman, Carbondale schools: Chatman moved to the Roaring Fork Valley from Missouri, where she worked in prevention and behavior support.

• Paul Hassel, Basalt schools: Hassel is a former teacher and was most recently a program counselor for the Youth Recovery Center at Valley View Hospital.

Through this program, the specialists provide evidence-based prevention lessons in the classroom, staff training on prevention, and prevention training for parents. Additionally, the specialists will participate in each school’s multitiered system of support processes and coordinate with community organizations to connect students and families to appropriate resources.

The prevention specialist program was piloted at Bridges High School during the 2016-17 school year. Laura Karnes held the position last year and saw that role as filling a critical gap in schools.

“The prevention specialist identifies root causes to endemic issues within a family system that cause risk factors,” she said. “Then the specialist works with community organizations to reduce barriers for students and families so that they may access wraparound services for intervention, treatment, and counseling.”

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