Roanoke City Schools is taking a proactive approach to address the stigma surrounding mental health care and improve the overall well-being of its students. Superintendent Verletta White believes that everyone can benefit from some support at times, and the school system has partnered with Hazel Health to provide virtual mental healthcare services at no cost to students.
The program was initiated in response to requests from students in the district who expressed a need for more access to mental health services. Students will have the opportunity to speak directly with a licensed therapist online, helping them deal with trauma-related issues, regardless of the type of trauma they have experienced. White emphasized the importance of addressing the emotional, social, and psychological well-being of students in order to improve their school performance and attendance.
Hazel Health offers services in multiple languages, ensuring that a diverse student population in Roanoke City can access the help they need. Since its launch, 18 students from 12 different schools have utilized the program. The school officials are also working to add physical telehealth services through Hazel Health in the near future. White believes that the overall goal is to promote wholeness and wellness for all students, regardless of their background or circumstances.