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Kendall schools open satellite office for mental health

Posted 28 December 2015 at 12:00 am

Press Release, Kendall Central School

KENDALL – In response to the national concern about mental health issues and the impact they have on student performance and school district climates, Kendall Central School has partnered with Orleans County Mental Health to offer a satellite office at Kendall Elementary School two days a week.

Kristen Acquilano, a mental health counselor with the county, works out of the satellite office at Kendall on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Kendall elementary through high school students are eligible to be referred to the counselor by the district’s Student Referral Team. Transportation from the high school to appointments during the school day is provided by the district for the older students.

“By having the mental health collaboration, it helps us address the stressors and the root cause of a student’s behavior at school,” said Kendall Superintendent Julie Christensen. “This is a real boost to our side of the county to offer mental health services here. Coming here rather than traveling to Albion saves our families time, plus it supplements the services provided by our district’s counseling staff. By having the satellite office at the Elementary School, students can use the services provided to help them concentrate on their studies and be positive contributors in school. This new service opportunity also encourages our parents to further engage with the district on students’ academic issues.”

Kristen Acquilano

Since Oct. 7, Acquilano has begun to make assessments of students, offer counseling appointments and give referrals to other mental health professionals to help address the needs of students and their families. Acquilano has a master’s degree in social work and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Students are referred to her by Kendall counseling staff. After receiving the referral, she begins the process by obtaining parent/guardian permission and insurance information, then scheduling an hour-long initial assessment. Parents/ guardians can also contact her for guidance on receiving mental health services for their children.

Once the assessment is complete, she works with the student’s schedule to make regular appointments. Appointments are available in the late afternoon and early evening hours for students and their families. Parents/guardians may have the opportunity to attend counseling sessions to support their child, but parents/guardians will not be able to schedule counseling appointments for themselves.

Acquilano welcomes contact from parents/guardians through email or phone if they have feedback, questions or concerns about their children and are unable to attend an appointment with them. Acquilano’s email address is Kristen.Acquilano@orleanscountyny.gov and her Orleans County Mental Health office phone number is 585-589-2787.

“I am absolutely loving my experience at Kendall,” said Acquilano. “All of the staff have been warm and welcoming. I am finding it so beneficial to coordinate care with teachers and counselors. We are able to work together on case plans in order to address student needs.”