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Monett School District offers mental health care to employees

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 7:27 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2021 at 7:41 AM CDT
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MONETT, Mo. (KY3) - The Monett School District is offering teachers and staff mental health care as part of the employee benefits package.

The pandemic was a stressful time for everyone, including educators. Monett School Board members approved adding mental health services to its employee benefits package.

“I’m really excited that we have it as a person who’s struggled with depression in the past. Having that support provided by your district is astronomical,” said English Teacher Amy Sampson

After struggling with depression for years, Sampson decided it was time to get help.

“Therapists are not cheap,” said Sampson. “Sometimes it is not even covered by insurance.”

Employees of the Monett School District and their dependents can access licensed counselors 24/7 at no charge through the Employee Assistance Program. The School Board voted to add this service after seeing how the pandemic impacted teachers and staff.

“This assistance program allows us to make sure that our staff is taken care of mentally,” said School Counselor Leslie Henry. “If we’re not in our best shape mentally, we can’t take care of our little people.”

Through this program, employees can participate in up to six sessions with a counselor free of charge. This is the first year this service is offered to school employees. If it has a positive response, the district will continue to provide the program to educators.

“It’s okay to struggle,” said Sampson. “It’s healthy to find that balance in life. So I encourage them to find like, you know, you’re going to have highs, you’re going to have lows, but find help, get help to seek help. I can still function when I’m depressed, but I’m not my best self, and therapy’s helped me be a better person.”

The Employee Assistance Program will also help with things like childcare referrals, legal services, and money management.

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