School clinics provide both primary care and mental health care. Clinics can help eliminate transportation barriers to see a doctor, reduce the time students miss school, and increase access to health care for family members under 21, advocates say. The centers can also help reduce the stigma of seeking mental health care.

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“The philosophy of these health services (is) to provide those in-school services where students spend most of their time,” said Jeff Cook, director of public health, schools and clinics at Beaumont Health, which sponsors several school centers. in western Wayne County.

“Healthy children learn better.”

Speaking during a virtual media conference on Wednesday, advocates said they support Whitmer’s attention to the issue, but students need more help.

“We are delighted that there is additional funding, but it still will not meet the need,” he said. Natalia Kasiborsky, Professor of Public Health at the University of Michigan and Special Adviser to the Northwest Michigan Department of Health.

She noted that there are long queues for services.

“It’s hard to tell parents and children what to wait for. So we know the demand is there, so we hope there will be additional funding to help continue to meet that demand. ”

There are now about 200 school or school medical centers nationwide and about half of Michigan counties that have at least one center, according to the group. School centers often serve more than one school in the area.

Michigan is over 500 counties of public schools and about 300 statutory schools – and 150 districts are on the waiting list wishing to open a school center, said Deb Brinson, the alliance’s interim executive director.

“Never in our lives have we encountered both adults and children with such a level of constant and constant stress that generates life, but more importantly, the pandemic is evolving even more vividly,” Brinson said.

Cook said programming makes a big difference, citing Fr. a school wellness program at Taylor High School it helped a student who was depressed and consciously had no braces. The therapist was able to work with other providers to get students free dental services and braces. About a month later, the therapist was able to discharge the student.

School clinics include a staff provider such as a physician or practicing nurse and a staff therapist. Brinson said the model is also unique because the centers offer services to patients year-round, not just throughout the school year.

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