Mental Health Matters

Morgan County Schools - January 2022

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Morgan County Schools believe in Mental Health and grow their Mental Health Program.

Morgan County Schools are happy to announce three Mental Health Professionals to assist with all our Mental Health needs.

Janice Vest who is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Tessa Buttram who is a licensed Masters level Social Worker, they are our Mental Health Service Coordinators for Morgan County.

We are also happy to have an at-risk Counselor, who contracts with us from Albany Clinic for 15 hours a week. She rotates schools as needed to ensure our students have access to appropriate at-risk Counseling services.

Morgan County Schools are so excited to offer more mental health services and resources to our students, faculty and parents. This includes a new mental health app, called Rhithm, for daily mental health check-ins. We are striving to make a positive difference in our schools and community.

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Get in Rhithm?

Rhithm is a K12 student and staff wellness check-in tool. The platform selects an ideal 1-3 minute social and emotional learning activity/intervention video to regulate well-being based on user given data from a simple emoji assessment. This data is available on dashboards to reflect and connect with administration at the school and mental health service coordinators at the district to meet the needs of the students and staff.

To visit Rhithm and check out how to use the app click the link below or the QR code.

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Mental Health Resource Bank

Amid COVID-19, many people might be experiencing various emotions that could impact their mental health. Not only are adults navigating through times of uncertainty, but children and teens are also. Since this is so, it is important for adults and young people to take care of themselves, as they recognize any and all emotions that might be impacted adversely during this pandemic. The listed mental health resource bank can be helpful to teachers and parents, as they take steps toward self-care. Teachers, parents, and other caregivers can also use this resource bank for children and teens, so they can benefit from self-care as well.

Mental Health Resource Bank

Self-Care Checklist

Crisis Help Lines and Numbers

Mental Health Referral Form

"Handle with Care"

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What is Handle with Care

If your child or your family is experiencing difficulties at home, Morgan County Schools would like to provide additional support at school. We understand that everyone is not comfortable sharing details and that is okay!

If your child is coming to school after a difficult night, morning, or weekend, please email or text your school Counselor who will contact our Mental Health Support Team with your child's name and the words "HANDLE WITH CARE. " This will let us know that your child needs extra time, patience, or help throughout the day. We're in this together.

Mental Health Links

Virtual Calming Room

Enjoy a calm moment with the is virtual calming room experience.

Quiet Kit

Quiet Kit provides guided meditations that are especially suitable for people who are just beginning in their meditation journey.

Pixel Thoughts

Pixel Thoughts in a 60 – second meditation website. You can enter the thoughts that you are worried about, and it will guide you through a meditation. Pro Tip: Make sure you have your sound on for this one. The background music is very relaxing.


Allows you to speak with a trained listener who will support you while you are expressing your thoughts to them. Pro Tip: This is not a crisis service and you should NOT use this if you are feeling suicidal and is NOT a replacement for therapy.

Mental Health Service Team Contact Information

Patrick Patterson-Mental Health Director MCSS/Secondary Ed. Director /Testing Coordinator/Counseling Director

Janice Vest, LPC-Mental Health Service Coordinator MCSS

Janice Vest is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and has worked with children and mental health for 25 years. She was previously the Counselor at Union Hill School for the past 9 years before becoming the Mental Health Service Coordinator in Morgan County Schools.

Tessa Buttram, MSW-Mental Health Service Social Worker MCSS

Tessa Buttram is a licensed Masters level Social Worker who has worked at the Department of Human Resources in Chilton County prior to becoming the Mental Health Service Social Worker for Morgan County Schools.

MCSS believes in Social and Emotional Learning

5 Keys to Social and Emotional Learning Success