ASHBURN, GA (WALB) - A rural health grant will soon help low-income students in Turner County get mental health counseling in school.
A Family Connections of Turner County volunteer said the addition to Turner County Elementary School's school-based health clinic will make a huge difference in students' lives.
"We have a lot of children that are uninsured or on Medicaid, PeachCare," explained volunteer Brenda Lee, who, on Friday, said that students at Turner County Elementary School, a Title I school, need better healthcare.
The Rural Health Development Network Grant will fund a school-based health center mental health counselor/coordinator for three years.
"I think this is across the board that children are needing additional counseling, and this is one of the ways we can provide it," said Lee. "When the signs are there, and everything's leading to that, it's a wonderful tool to have to be able to refer that child and that family to get some additional counseling to hopefully prevent problems children will have later on."
Mental health counseling for students in need across Turner County won't cost the parents a thing through the grant.
School counselors can refer the students, or parents can request that the mental health counselor see their student.
Lee said she hopes this grant, that wasn't the first, won't be the last grant in the process of helping students.
"Everyone of those (grants) has been a building block toward the goal of providing more services for our children and meeting their health needs," she said.
If you or someone you know might want to apply, send a resume to the address below, or email Patricia Harris.
- Family Connection of Turner County, Inc.
Attn: Patricia Harris
705 Hudson Ave.
Ashburn, Georgia 31714
The same school-based clinic also has a dental clinic, and the elementary school hopes to have it staffed with a hygienist to do routine care for students in school starting next year.
The clinic already has three chairs with power and water.
However, by law, a hygienist needed a dentist in the same building to practice preventative care until Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill into law this year, where hygienists can do this kind of care in schools without a dentist in-house.
That law will go into effect on January 1, 2018.
School officials will move forward from there with looking for a hygienist to treat students.
Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved.