The Resilient Cardinal


June 2020

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Give Yourself A Pat on the Back!

Thank you for all of your hard work and flexibility throughout the year helping support our students! It is time to take a deep breath and make a little time for self-care. I hope your summer brings large smiles, contagious giggles, high hopes, new opportunities, and a happy heart.

Jamie Ganske

School Based Mental Health Update

Although therapists cannot come into our buildings at this time, we are still taking new referrals to help students get set up with therapy in an agency setting or via telehealth!

We are happy to announce that we have partnered with more agencies, Ozaukee Community Therapies and Christian Family Solutions. They have openings available via telehealth! We have also partnered with Therapy Dogs International.

Here is the link to the SBMH updates on the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District COVID-19 Important information page. It contains updates and resources. It also includes information on telehealth.

Below is the number of students that participated in School Based Mental Health each month. We had 192 students total participate in School Based Mental Health during this school year before schools were closed.

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Student and Family Assistance Program Update

2018-2019 Data:

* We anticipated 250 counseling sessions to be delivered. Over 400 counseling sessions were delivered.

*There were 201 authorizations, but some families split their 4 sessions across more than one child. There were 169 different families that utilized the program.

* The two top presenting problems were anxiety and depression

Adjustments for 2019-2020:

* We increased the number of anticipated sessions to 325.

2019-2020 Data:

* We are anticipating 325 counseling sessions for this year. We have delivered 321 as of 4/30/2020.

*The top presenting problems have been anxiety, depression, and anger.

REALiving Data:

Interconnected Systems Framework: What to expect next year

*All 9 schools will fully be part of the ISF supports!!

  • Co-facilitated groups offered next year:

    • Coping Skills

    • Resilience

    • Emotion Regulation

    • Social Skills

    • Self Care

    • NEW: Small groups with a miniature therapy horse

    • NEW: Girls Group/Guys Group (middle school or high school) (virtual)

    • NEW: Social Skills Group (virtual)

    • NEW: Foster Parents Support and Education Group (virtual)

    • NEW: DBT Skills for Teens and Adolescents (virtual)

    • NEW: Narrative and Art Therapy (virtual)

    • NEW: Mindfulness for Adolescents and Teens (virtual)

  • PD Opportunities for staff next year:

    • Mindfulness/yoga

    • Wellness/Self care/Mental Health, etc. as requested

    • NEW: Common Mental Health Issues in Schools (virtual)

    • NEW: Anxiety (virtual)

    • NEW: Depression (virtual)

    • NEW: Autism- we have a student version and a school staff version of this (virtual)

    • NEW: ADD/ADHD (virtual)

    • NEW: Understanding Suicide and Self Harm in Youth (virtual)

    • NEW: Understanding and Supporting Trauma in Schools (virtual)

    • NEW: Supporting LGBTQ+ Population in Schools (virtual)

    • NEW: Tools for Your Toolbox- Classroom Strategies to Support Self-Regulation (virtual)

DCLT summary and agenda

The District and Community Leadership Team (DCLT) is a group of school district and community executive level administration, who have the authority to reallocate resources, change policy, sustain, and scale the key elements and core features of the ISF. The DCLT meets at least three times throughout the school year.

Mission/Vision of DCLT: Our community partnerships will promote staff awareness and increase understanding of mental health supports and resources so all students will develop life-long resiliency

Progress Monitoring Goal: Analyze the data we have and action plan around it.

We will establish baseline data measuring frequency of community clinician contacts with educators for consultation, collaboration, and professional development. (REALiving will track this data)

Link to Agenda


  • SPOTLIGHT: Tom Diel with Chippewa County DHS!

  • Parent Focus Group Update

  • Any Ideas on how to best support students and families with the current situation or ideas on how to support students when they return?

  • What will be offered NEXT YEAR

AWARE Grant: What we were able to accomplish the first year!

The Project AWARE grant has four main goals. Here are just a few of the things we have accomplished this year under each goal!

1) Increase the capacity for schools to respond to onsite mental health crisis

  • Relevant staff attended PREPaRE 2 training to support the development and implementation of a mental health crisis protocol

  • Parkview is getting trained in educational wraparound (last day of training will need to be rescheduled due to Coronavirus)

  • Set up Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) trainings

  • Professional development was offered at the Cardinal Conferences in order to promote wellness and mental health

  • We developed flyers regarding the continuum of mental health interventions

  • We created a Cardinal Care Mental Health Supports website in order to communicate the available mental health supports

  • Suicide policy and admin guidelines revised (awaiting board approval)

  • EMLSS District Coordinator attended Conscious Discipline trainings

  • Expanded Trauma Champion trainings to also offer Tier 2 and 3 cohort

2) Increase youth and family voice and choice

  • We added a question to the parent engagement survey to find the percentage of parents who agree that their involvement in their child's education is valued

  • A subcommittee was created to work on creating a defined process for our screening/assessment results

  • We had our first mental health pop-up booth show up at the High School

  • Mental Health pop-up booths at parent teacher conferences

  • A mental health teacher focus group was created at the High School

3) Improve cross system collaboration to improve mental health supports for children and youth

  • We have created a District and Community Leadership Team for the purpose of creating seamless mental health and behavioral health services

  • Community therapists are invited to the School Counselor meetings

  • We have implemented an Interconnected Systems Framework in 6 of our 9 buildings where community therapists are able to come offer professional development, co-facilitate small groups, offer consultation, etc.

4) Increase access to and engagement of mental health and wellness treatment resources for children and youth

  • We were able to hire a Mental Health Navigator

  • We updated/created a mental health referral pathway

  • We developed a procedure and tracking tool to track the mental health service referrals for students

  • We identified a mental health curriculum for 8-10th graders

  • Updated suicide policy and admin guidelines (awaiting board approval)

  • We have implemented the BARR program for freshman students

Adolescent Mental Health Training on June 17th and 18th

Please contact Randy Knowlton if you are interested.

As part of the safety grants the District has been awarded for safety and security enhancements, we are required to provide a 12 hour mandated Adolescent Mental Health Training on June 17th (8 hours) and 18th (4 hours) 2020. The district is required to provide this training (no substitutions) to 10% of our teaching and counseling staff.

Training topics covered in this 12 hour session are: Adolescent development, Adolescent mental health, Trauma informed practices, Verbal de-escalation techniques, Engaging families, Role of law enforcement in mental health issues, and Accessing external behavioral health.

In regards to the focus of the training being on Adolescent Mental Health, there are varying definitions of the age group, typically what I have found is approximately age 9 to 19 years old. Even if you may be involved with students under that age group, I believe there would be great benefit from this training. As you are aware, all children mature and develop differently, so having a heads up on areas of concern at an earlier stage may be very helpful in addressing the needs of our students.

The course will be delivered in a series of 3 live webinars, each running up to 2.5 hours. Two webinars will be held on the first day of the course (June 17), and one webinar will be held on the second day of the course (June 18). NASRO will email participants the login information for the webinars including the time each will begin. The participants will be divided into two groups of 25 for the training and the time of the webinars will be different.

In order to successfully complete the course, attendees must attend all scheduled webinars in their entirety (they will not be recorded for later viewing) with at least a 90% engagement rate and successfully complete additional course work as assigned. Attendees must attend the webinars with their web camera on at all times. NASRO will provide participants with a course syllabus outlining the required course assignments which will require work outside of the webinars. Each participant must have access to an individual computer with audio and a web camera.

Letter About New Info on Mandated Reporters

Hello wonderful school champions!

Thank you for your continued work for children and families during this challenging time. You will never know the full impact of your caring support for students and families.

We are living through unprecedented times, and with that comes many challenges that can increase stress and reduce our social, emotional, and physical safety and wellbeing. Just as we are affected, so are our students and families. Our students need our caring and support, and we must consider ways to increase safety and reduce harm. DPI has partnered with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to create the attached flier related to mandated reporting and the duty of all school staff to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect (also online here under the School Social Work Drop-down Menu: The flier reminds school staff about their responsibility as a mandated reporter and the signs of child abuse and neglect. On reverse side, question examples are provided to help guide conversations with students and caregivers to further understanding and target supports. You are welcome to distribute this as makes sense in your context with the approval and collaboration of your district administration.

Additionally, you may be interested in information and resource links provided by the National School Climate Center on the same topic: School Safety in the Time of COVID. They provide considerations for school staff in the form of best practices and resources. DPI does not necessarily endorse any specific resources found herein; this resource is provided as one option among many that could be reviewed by professional school staff and may provide ideas to consider.

Thank you for your attention to this important topic.

Take care and be well,

Julie Incitti, MSW, CAPSW

Some helpful Resources

Here is a link to several Wellness Resources that includes Kid Resources, Mental Health Resources, Physical Resources, and Miscellaneous Resources.

Supporting Student Mental Health During School Closures Resource Page

Mental Health, SEL, Trauma and Safety Online Training Materials

Real-Living Counselors are available 24/7 via the

Student and Family Assistance Program phone line. The phone number is 855.838.7170

It can be used for emotional support through the entirety of this school closure situation.

If you are feeling overwhelmed or distressed over COVID-19,

you can call a distress line at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.

If you have additional questions about mental health resources in the

Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District, please see