Framework in Action
Community Partnerships Address Mental and Behavioral Issues in School

Kershaw County School District – Camden, SC
In 2013, the Kershaw County School District Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) program implemented a multi-level, comprehensive approach to addressing mental and behavioral issues within the school district. The Santee-Wateree Department of Mental Health Services became a key partner. This partnership allowed the school district to place and support five mental health counselors in schools.

Early evaluation of the program showed that not enough students were meeting the clinical threshold required to use the mental health services offered by these counselors.  There were, however, students with behavioral issues whose needs were not being met.

The school district addressed this challenge by forming a new partnership with the ALPHA Behavioral Center—a center that focuses on alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse as well as behavioral needs. This partnership led to the placement of behavioral-health specialists and substance-abuse counselors in the schools. ALPHA also helped secure a transition and truancy counselor. Since its inception, this initiative has evolved to meet the needs of students based on ongoing data and evaluation.

"Through a number of partnerships and collaborations, the SS/HS program was able to evolve and impact more students than originally planned."—Kevin Rhodes, SS/HS Project Director, Kershaw County School District
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