by Susan Grevelis, Nurse Liaison for the Innovative Care Coordination Grant
I am very excited to be starting work as the Behavioral and Mental Health Nurse Liaison for the Barnstable, Monomoy, and Sandwich Public Schools through the Innovative Care Coordination Grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. I have been a psychiatric nurse for a little over five years. Psychiatric nursing is my passion. I always say, “All nursing is psychiatric nursing”. I have also had the opportunity to work as a substitute school nurse in the Barnstable public schools for the last three years. Working side by side with school nurses allowed me the opportunity to see, first hand, the hard work and dedication it takes to get kids educated safely and healthfully.
Each year it is estimated that one out of five children in the U.S. will experience a mental disorder. This can have a negative impact on their learning and achievement, and continue to affect them into adulthood. Early diagnosis is important. We have the opportunity to identify these kids and get them the appropriate services they need to succeed in school and reach their full potential.
With children spending most of their day-time hours in school, we get a sense of what issues they may be struggling with. With the right tools and resources we can help to identify kids in need of mental and behavioral health services. That is where I come in. As the nurse liaison my purpose is to establish a collaborative relationship with the school nurses, families, and providers of the students in need of mental and behavioral health services.
For school nurses my goals are:
- To enhance communication and coordination with outside providers , students and their families
- To provide professional development opportunities focusing on child and adolescent behavioral and mental heath
- To create a comprehensive resource guide for behavioral and mental health services
- To meet with school nurses in groups and individually, as needed to address concerns or to get feedback on the goals of this program.
Currently I am working with Carilyn Rains, Pam Ciborowski, (Barnstable Public Schools Nurse Leader) and Kathy Riley (Monomoy Regional Schools Nurse leader) to roll-out this program.