AllentownSchool District

Allentown School District Partners with Counslr to Increase Access To Mental Health Support Services

Allentown School District Partners with Counslr to Increase Access To Mental Health Support Services
Posted on 01/08/2024

The Allentown School District has announced that it has partnered with Counslr, a text-based mental health support platform, that will enable students access to mental health support, anytime, anywhere.

“We are working collaboratively to ensure that we create the conditions where all members of our learning community feel safe, valued empowered, and loved,” said Dr. Carol D. Birks, Superintendent. “The benefits of on-demand communication through this app, support the District’s ongoing commitment to increasing students' mental health services and bolstering their affective developmental skill sets.

The District shared information with students on how to download and access Counslr the week of December 18, 2023, and provided training for staff.  Students 14 years of age and over will have 24-hour access to live, on-demand, text-based sessions with licensed professionals, anytime, anywhere. The District intends to pilot this program through the end of the 2023-2024 school year.

The partnership between the Allentown School District and Counslr aims to increase access to mental health services to supplement the school’s counseling services. As factors such as academic pressures, social media influences, and world events contribute to heightened stress levels and mental health challenges among adolescents, the District has recognized the growing need to offer more accessible resources and preventative mental health services. The District aims to empower students to seek assistance as situations arise, ultimately preventing larger crises from manifesting.

In addition, while the nationwide provider shortage impacts an already-strained mental health support system, many high school students seeking assistance often face long wait times or insufficient access to crucial mental health services. This resource scarcity underscores the urgency for additional resources and innovative solutions to bridge this critical gap in mental health care for adolescents.

“In order to meet the increasing need for mental health services within high school communities, forward-thinking districts like Allentown are looking for more accessible and affordable resources that help to reach their traditionally unreachable students,” said Josh Liss, Counslr CEO. “With 83 percent of students who use Counslr having never previously engaged with school mental health resources, we look forward to helping Allentown reach this population by meeting students where they are and making it simple to prioritize their mental well-being.”