Partnership will bring more mental health resources to Knox County's schools

The Helen Ross McNabb Center plans to extend its partnership with Knox County Schools to provide mental health services.

Knox County Schools and the Helen Ross McNabb Center are partnering to bring more mental health resources to students.

Right now, Helen Ross McNabb works with 15 community schools in Knox County, providing mental health services for children in need. Now the plan it to bring those services to all of Knox County's schools.

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“Our kids bring a lot through the doors when they get to school. Their adversity at home or in their neighborhood doesn't stop when they walk through those doors,” said Kristen Bradley, the Prevention and Early Intervention Coordinator for the Helen Ross McNabb Center.

Bradley said this is a crucial step to getting all schools in the county extra resources to take the weight off the school’s staff and parents.

“What that would look like is providing a mental health expert and a mental health case manager or counselor that really is working on the emotional needs of the child,” Bradley said.

South Knoxville Elementary is one of the 15 community schools where this service already exists. Principal Tanna Nicely said this partnership should be in all schools across the county.

“I think it's a wonderful idea. I really admire what Helen Ross McNabb stands for and I've seen the fruits of the labor at this school personally,” Nicely said.

She said in a world where you never know what can happen at a school, knowing the mental health status of your students and helping those who need treatment gives everyone peace of mind.

“Mental health is finally getting the attention that it needs,” Nicely said.

During their meeting Wednesday, the Board of Education approved the school district's request for additional mental health services. Now it's a matter of finding funding for the extra resources.

Here’s a list of the community schools that are already partnered with the Helen Ross McNabb Center:

Beaumont Elementary Christenberry Elementary Dogwood Elementary Green Magnet Elementary Inskip Elementary Lonsdale Elementary Maynard Elementary New Hopewell Elementary Norwood Elementary Pond Gap Elementary Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Elementary South Knox Elementary West View Elementary Northwest Middle Vine Middle

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