When Bergen County school children are experiencing behavioral or mental health problems during school hours, they can expect to receive understanding and a focused plan to stay in school. CBH Care, the community-based mental health-focused non-profit that has served the greater Bergen County area for 50 years, has been helping students stay in school through their little known, highly impactful school clearance service.
School Personnel and counselors sometimes need assistance ensuring students who are experiencing issues can safely remain in a school setting. CBH Care has been that critical resource for a number of years. CBH Care’s Licensed Clinicians have successfully returned students to the classroom with sustainable mental health management. They offer this service for children of any age (grades K through 12).
“We seldom see repeats,” said CBH Care Director of Development Nikki Chiarello. “We have affiliation agreements with schools in the County; some of which we work closely with. When a child is sent by a school, our clinicians work with them to find out what’s going on in their life that needs to be addressed. Sometimes the child needs to express himself or herself, other times this is their first interaction with mental health services and further services are warranted. In cases such as those, we can quickly connect them to a therapist for on going treatment. At CBH Care, we have the ability to refer to outpatient or one of our after school programs. We are the only agency in the county to offer a therapeutic Partial Care Program for adolescents.”
“I am happy CBH Care is able to assist schools, parents and school aged children promptly to address their issues and work collaboratively toward a successful solution,” said Cheryl Tormo, Associate Director Clinical services of CBH Care. “Our Licensed Clinicians easily connect with kids and adolescents, and provide assessments that either enable the child to return to school or to receive the appropriate treatment."
The CBH Care Partial Care Programs for children, New Directions and Checkers, help a variety of children, mostly ages 12-17. The program runs Monday through Thursday. They offer free transportation and meals. While there, the children take part in group therapy, individual therapy and family therapy. They offer monthly outings to all children involved. There is a psychiatrist on staff for those children who may need medication monitoring.
“A lot of children need support and guidance from adults who understand, and we are proud to help,” said Chiarello. “Sometimes, one session with one of our clinicians is all that’s needed, and sometimes it’s an ongoing process.”