ACS welcomes new Mental Health Services Coordinator
Athens City Schools (ACS) is pleased to announce an important new addition to the school system. Mikayla Reese is the first-ever Mental Health Services Coordinator (MHSC) for ACS. Reese is a licensed master social worker. In this new role, Reese will serve students and their families across the district by coordinating available services and resources to support mental health and wellness.
The MHSC serves as a liaison between school, families and community agencies. This may seem simple, but having a proverbial bridge between the school system and the available resources is a critical component in making a difference for students and families.
“We are seeing a wide variety of student issues, such as anxiety and depression, and we know that the pandemic has caused additional stress. Having someone who can focus on mental health wellness and connect families to needed resources is a huge benefit for ACS,” said Interim Superintendent Beth Patton. “We are thrilled to welcome Mikayla in this role.”
Reese will work with students, families, teachers and administrators to identify and address social/emotional, mental health and behavioral needs of students through collaboration with school counselors, school nurses and community mental health professionals. Reese will also work closely with counselors across the school system to identify needs for ACS teachers and staff on the topic of mental health. She will assist our schools in planning programs that prevent, reduce or alleviate situations that interfere with the learning process of students.
“Mental health has become a focal point of our society and is very important in the wellbeing and success of our students,” said Reese. “ I am excited about joining the ACS team as the Mental Health Services Coordinator, and I look forward to assisting students and families in any way possible.”
The MHSC position is part of an Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) pilot program. ACS is one of several districts across the state to receive grant funding from the ALSDE for this new position.