This fall the USD 375 Board of Education approved the position creation and hiring of a district mental health counselor. Megan Couey, a graduate of Circle Public Schools and Licensed Professional Counselor, was a natural fit.
After graduating from Circle High School Megan received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology from Friends University in 2018, & her master’s degree in clinical counseling in 2020. She worked as a school counselor in Valley Center before transitioning to Circle Public Schools as the South Central Mental Health representative where she worked with students from Pre-K to 12th grade.
Of creating the mental health counselor position, Superintendent Don Potter says, “Mental Health is a significant factor when it comes to the overall well-being and learning of our students and staff. We want to ensure resources are available to provide success for our students inside and outside of school. The partnership created with South Central Mental Health (SCMH) has and will continue to provide outstanding services. However, we needed this position to support all stakeholders in further developing local processes, procedures, and routines which will provide several positive outcomes around mental health and crisis response.”
How exactly does Ms. Couey’s position differ from that of the traditional school counselor & South Central Mental Health representative? According to her, “School counselors are great for short-term interventions. For example, if a student is struggling day-to-day with school issues or feelings, the school counselor is the first line of resources that the student has access to all the time. Students can express needs and thoughts with someone who they have an existing relationship with. My role is different in that I will work with students identified by the school counselor who need more consistent, structured counseling &/or resources available through SCMH. I do a lot of partnering with SCMH and refer for resources as needed for families.”
In addition to acting as a liaison between USD 375 and SCMH, Ms. Couey will also focus on district-wide policies & protocols for threat assessments, suicide protocols, and other mental health crisis responses. A primary goal of Ms. Couey’s is to unify those protocols across the district that can then be implemented based on age levels and accessible to all staff.
If you’re interested in learning more about the program, email Ms. Couey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have concerns about your student, first contact their school counselor who has been trained in the referral process.
We are so excited to welcome Ms. Couey and cannot wait to see how she Thrives in 375!