Mental Health

Sylvia Groves
Director of Mental Health

The Director of Mental Health for EVSC has been coordinating many initiatives having to do with self-care and mental health of EVSC staff and students. The position also interfaces with many community partners who work with EVSC students and wish to better the supports and services in our community.

EVSC received a large grant from the CareSource Foundation to implement work from the Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM) in the Evansville community. Through this grant, 33 individuals in the community have completed the CMBM Professional Training Program and 15 have attended the Advanced Training Program. Most of these have been representatives of agencies in Evansville, not EVSC employees. Through November, 2022, 62 people in the community have attended a Mind-Body Skills Group. Data collected show that there has been a 41.6% decrease in perceived stress, 30/56% increase in coping/self-efficacy, and 17.85% increase in resiliency of the 62 who have participated in skills groups. Our hope is that additional individuals and agencies will continue to attend skills groups and receive CMBM training to facilitate skills groups.

In May 2022, EVSC launched Talkspace for employees and dependents. Through Talkspace, employees and dependents (13+) can receive personal support from licensed clinicians. Talkspace offers virtual therapy appointments up to two sessions a month and unlimited messaging with the clinician. Through November, 2022, 220 employees and/or dependents had registered with Talkspace.

All EVSC teachers, school counselors, school psychologists, school nurses, and school administrators are required to received suicide awareness and prevention training every three years. EVSC has been presenting QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) to staff since the 2018-19 school year. The Director of Mental Health coordinates this training. Through a strong relationship with the Southwestern Indiana Suicide Prevention Coalition, 15 EVSC personnel have been trained to deliver the QPR Gatekeeper presentation. Additionally, several EVSC/Youth First Social workers are trained to deliver the QPR Gatekeeper presentation. Several community presentations have been conducted as well.

The Director of Mental Health also is overseeing the implementation of the Garrett Lee Smith grant. Through this five-year grant, ASIST training is offered once a year and QPR Gatekeeper training is offered three times. So far, 26 EVSC personnel and 31 community members have attended ASIST training. The first QPR training will be scheduled in the 22-23 school year. ASIST is an evidence- based suicide prevention training that the workers for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline are required to complete. This two day training is written for mental health professionals and others who have interaction and contact with those experiencing suicidal ideation. The PAL Model (Pathway for Assisting Life) is taught thoroughly with multiple real life situations presented and participants must be actively involved and demonstrate understanding and ability to apply.

As co-coordinator of the EVSC crisis response team, the Director of Mental Health is working with the Director of Student Support Services and other EVSC employees in training EVSC CCT (Comprehensive Counseling Team) members in PREPaRE. This program will help the school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, and GAIN student support staff in systematically addressing crisis situations in schools.

Monthly Mental Health Message