UM launches program to give rural students mental health support | KECIThe University of Montana recently launched a program that gives mental health support to rural Montana students.

In a press release on Friday, the University released the following information about the program:

For rural Montana school kids, getting access to mental health care often involves long – and in winter months, harrowing – car rides to distant towns.

To bring consistent mental health care directly to remote schoolrooms across the state, the University of Montana recently launched a program that marries the expertise of graduate students in counseling with expanding internet access in Montana.

The Tele-Counseling Clinic is one of many programs offered by UM’s Safe Schools Center. The center, housed in the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education, provides individualized school safety training programs, professional development and technical support.

“Big schools have counselors who can walk down the hall and help, and we don’t have that resource,” said Kristi Borge, the 2021 Montana Teacher-of-the-Year who teaches at the one-room school house in Polaris, where 11 students grade first to eighth attend classes.