Helio Health is offering outpatient behavioral health clinic services at all of the schools in the West Genesee School District, starting this fall.
In 2021, Helio Health’s Child and Adolescent Clinic partnered with Onondaga County to provide school-based behavioral health clinic services through schools in the county. Child and Adolescent services at Helio Health started in 2017 and have grown exponentially since, providing valuable behavioral health services to Syracuse and the surrounding communities over the past
four years. Additionally, Helio Health has provided school-based services in West Genesee School District since 2019.
Helio Health is in the process of opening satellite clinics on-site within West Genesee Middle School, Camillus Middle School, East Hill Elementary school, Onondaga Road Elementary School, Stonehedge Elementary school, and Split Rock Elementary school; school-based services are already in place at West Genesee High School. A clinician will be available on-site at each of
these schools to work with students identified as needing additional support, referred either through the school or by family.
These satellite clinic offices operate as an extension of Helio Health’s main outpatient clinic, at 329 N Salina St in Syracuse, and students treated through the satellite clinic sites are eligible to receive all of the services affiliated with the main clinic, including individual and family counseling, psychiatric evaluations and ongoing medication management, case management, psychiatric rehabilitation services, and health monitoring appointments with a registered nurse.
Helio Health’s school-based satellite clinics employ licensed clinicians from a variety of disciplines, including social workers, mental health counselors, art therapists, and marriage and family therapists. These clinicians are trained to work with a variety of behavioral health needs, including anxiety, depression, attention issues, problem behaviors, trauma, substance use, issues with family and interpersonal functioning, and more. The school counseling office, in conjuction with school staff and family members, identify students who may benefit from additional counseling support. The school staff will then discuss the potential referral with the student and family before a referral is submitted.
Helio Health does bill insurance for any services provided through these satellite clinics. For any student or family not currently enrolled in health insurance, Helio Health has staff who are able to complete applications for medical assistance. Additionally, there is a sliding-scale fee structure available.
Though the clinician is on-site at the school campuses, firm confidentiality is still in place between the Helio Health clinician, the student/family, and the school staff. Helio Health’s clinician is not involved in any school counseling department work or crisis intervention; the clinician is only able to work with students who have been actively enrolled in services and who have consented to receive treatment. Confidentiality is discussed in great detail at the onset of counseling services, so that the student and family gain a thorough understanding of how information will or will not be shared amongst school staff and/or family members.
After a referral is made and the intake process (gathering insurance information, signing consents, and completing a structured clinical interview) is complete, the clinician will make a recommendation about treatment. Typically, the student is recommended to attend 45-minute weekly or bi-weekly individual sessions. The clinician will also coordinate with the family to
determine what extent the family will be involved in treatment. Additionally, the student may be recommended to meet with a psychiatric provider, for further evaluation or medication. Psychiatric sessions can be facilitated through telehealth, with the client on-site at the school and the provider on site at the main Helio clinic.
Helio Health’s school-based clinic services will be offered year round, including during school breaks, in order to provide continuity and accessibility to clients and families enrolled in treatment. Helio Health coordinates with each school site in order to provide continued access to treatment at the schools during prolonged breaks, such as summer break. The clients/families
will continue to have access to the school-based clinician via remote telehealth services during unexpected school closures, such as snow days.