On the January night when the superintendent launched employees from Generations Family Health Center, the nonprofit well being care group that was to supply companies within the college, the guests peered out of Zoom screens with cheery smiles.
The plan was for licensed therapists from Generations to work in an area on the college’s third flooring. Students may very well be referred by lecturers or relations, or might are available in themselves, and remedy classes could be scheduled throughout college hours. Therapists would invoice insurance coverage based mostly on a sliding charge scale, utilizing federal funds if vital, so there could be no price to the college and little, if any, to the households.
Then a chill entered the room because the board members started peppering them with questions. The guests’ smiles light.
Would they advise college students on contraception or abortion? (They wouldn’t give medical recommendation, however would possibly talk about if it comes up.) If kids have been referred and didn’t need remedy, would they be compelled to do it? (No.) Would college students be seen by friends going into therapy, exposing them to ridicule and stigma? (Hopefully not.) Could they get remedy with out their dad and mom figuring out about it?
Conceivably, sure, was the reply. By regulation, clinicians in Connecticut can provide six sessions of mental health treatment to minors with out parental consent beneath a slender set of circumstances — if the minor sought therapy, it was deemed clinically vital and if requiring parental notification would deter the minor from receiving it.
This provision is used not often; within the close by city of Putnam, which has hosted a school-based psychological well being clinic for 9 years, treating lots of of scholars, no baby has ever been handled with out parental permission, mentioned Michael Morrill, a Putnam college board member.
But it was a significant sticking level for Norm Ferron, one of many Killingly board members, who mentioned the association would “give a student a lot more access to counseling without seeking parental approval, and I’m not real keen on that.”