Live 5 Anker is raising money for a new mental health program in Title I schools

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – A Lowcountry nonprofit that works in Title I schools is kicking off a fundraising event Tuesday for a new mental health program for the hundreds of students they serve.

Charleston Hope serves Lowcountry Title I schools with a student population rate of 90-100% of students living at or below the federal poverty line.

The organization currently serves approximately 200 students from Mitchell Elementary and approximately 300 from Sanders-Clyde Elementary each day.

Live 5 news anchor Michal Higdon and seven others from the Lowcountry have been selected as the Charleston Hope Heroes and will work with the organization to help raise the money.

The goal this year is to raise $20,000 for a new mental health program.

Live 5 News anchor Michal Higdon will join seven others in raising money for Charleston Hope as the “Charleston Hope Hero”.(Live 5)

“We had counselors who were interns who were doing their masters in counseling who received hours and worked with our students one-on-one and one-on-one groups,” says Charleston Hope Program and Operations Manager Kendall Biga. “This year we are excited to expand this program to include licensed professional counselors and social workers to work with our students.”

Charleston Hope will direct the program at Mitchell Elementary beginning in August. It works with school administrators, counselors and district leaders to create a model that is sustainable and effective.

“Our schools receive a mental health counselor through the district who comes one day a week, which is insufficient to meet the needs of our students who have just grown through the pandemic and all the trauma our students are experiencing says Biga. “Many of them need more mental health support than they are receiving.”

The program follows the Safe & Supportive Learning School-Based Mental Health Program program model and implements the following levels of support:

  • Level 1: Universal mental health advancement for all students and teachers through Charleston Hope’s mission, including our Step-In Girls program and supporting the social-emotional curriculum implemented by the school district
  • Tier 2: Selective Services for students identified as at-risk for a mental health issue or program as assessed by CANS-EI or other district assessment. Services are provided by Charleston Hope master’s level student interns from The Citadel, Charleston Southern University and Webster University. Sessions take place during and after the school day.
  • Level 3: Indicated services for individual students who already have a mental health problem or program as determined by the CANS-EI or district assessment; Services are provided by licensed community professional consultants and local agencies. Sessions are after school and include body-based strategies/activities.

Click here Donate. For those who donate, here’s a breakdown of where the donations go:

  • Program coordinator to oversee the program, provide counseling sessions and act as student advocate for student mental health
  • Session Fees for Licensed Professional Counselors, Psychologists and Social Workers
  • Program Materials
  • Assessment and trauma-informed training for employees and interns

Charleston Hope’s mission focuses on intentionality, relationships and empowerment. It takes a village to raise a child, every child, and Charleston Hope is committed to being a part of that village. The success and impact of the organization is owed to and dedicated to loyal supporters, passionate teachers and inspiring students.

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