CHITTENANGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)- The Madison County Department of Mental Health and school districts have partnered to get satellite therapists inside the schools.

Mike Eiffe has been the Superintendent at Chittenango School District for six years. He said the past couple of years were difficult.

“The impacts of the pandemic we have seen an increased need for socioemotional learning and how we tend to students and family needs,” Eiffe said.

About 18 months ago, the County did an assessment where they surveyed the community and spoke with school districts about their needs. Some of them expressed interest in having a therapist on site to help with some of the student’s mental health needs.

“It’s kind of like the same structure as an outpatient clinic,” said Director of the Madison County Department of Mental Health, Teisha Cook. “They have a schedule of therapy sessions, kids that they’re seeing on a regular basis, and each of the school buildings have a process of referring students to our staff.”

Superintendent Eiffe says having something like this right on site, will help with student success.

“We have tremendous belief that it will continue to advance or impact kids in a way that will forever change the trajectory of where they’re going,” Eiffe continues.

This partnership started at the beginning of the school year. The satellite offices are located right inside the schools and the Mental Health Department says they hired people for these positions.