May is Mental Health Month: Mental health in SLV Schools


VALLEY — Childhood is a confusing and a challenging time. When you add in life stressors from family, mental illness, or school related pressures, there are many reasons that students may need someone to talk to. 

San Luis Valley Behavioral Health Group (SLVBHG) has the resources to work with kids of all ages. The School Based Behavioral Health Specialists visit 27 schools within the San Luis Valley on a weekly basis. Through this program, they have served more than 1,200 students in the Valley.

A wide variety of services are offered to kids of all ages, including brief interventions, skills building, prevention, crisis services, group work and individual counseling sessions. The goal of the School Based Specialist Program is to provide high-quality behavioral health outreach, linkage, consultation, treatment, and collaboration between San Luis Valley Behavioral Health Group and school districts. The school-based specialist can also provide school districts and individual schools with education, referrals, consultations, planning, information and other needed behavioral health services, which are tailored to each district. Working with individual schools provides them with the tools to recognize and respond to potential mental health concerns, threats or emergencies.

SLVBHG’s School Based Specialists have provided trainings in multiple schools to teachers and students on a wide variety of topics including stress and time management, suicide and self-harm, mental illness, youth mental health first aid, substance abuse, autism, trauma informed care, and other prevention topics. The hope of this team is to help normalize mental illness and childhood challenges by offering solutions, counseling options, and caring to those students in need.

Referrals can be made by school counselors, parents, or other concerned adults.

For more information, please contact SLVBHG at 719 589-3671 or talk to your student’s school.

Caption: From left are School Based Behavioral Health Specialists Gail Garcia-Kuhns, Bonnie Ortega and Diamond Mobbley. Not pictured is Dallas Cooley./Courtesy photo