The majority of projects the Foundation has helped fund over the last 50 years tend to be
physical ‘bricks and mortar’ upgrades – building renovations, park structures, equipment, etc. . . But occasionally we’ll assist with a pilot program to give a promising program a chance as we did with one of our most impactful grants – one to help establish a school-based behavioral health counseling program at Fort Atkinson High School.
In 2017, the Foundation awarded Fort HealthCare and the School District of Fort Atkinson a matching grant to help create a two-year pilot program to provide individual behavioral health counseling services to specifically identified students during the school day. A counselor, paid by Fort HealthCare, took an office in the pupil services department to help students with challenges such as bullying, family dysfunction, anxiety, depression, and other mental health stresses.
Over the course of that first school year, the program provided 229 counseling sessions to students, sessions that often resulted in positive behavioral outcomes. The trained counselor also served as a resource for school staff and the pupil services department has been deeply appreciative of what they have referred to as an “invaluable addition” to the resources they can offer students in need.
Proving its worth, the counseling program has continued on at Fort Atkinson High School and we are so grateful to Fort HealthCare for taking the proactive lead on establishing this meaningful program.