How School Psychiatrists Saves Your School System Money
- Conduct psychiatric assessments efficiently and effectively. Schools can save a great deal of effort by understanding the biological, psychological, and social contributors to academic performance. At your request, School Psychiatrists will conduct comprehensive diagnostic evaluations of students. Why pay top dollar for an outside specialist when you can use the expertise of an in-house consultant?
- Make connections with difficult-to-reach, outside clinicians, particularly psychiatrists, facilitating communication in both directions. Sometimes, a relatively simple medication adjustment may be all that stands in the way of academic success, and our psychiatrists use our professional connections to reach treating physicians more quickly than teachers or clinical or administrative staff in the schools are able.
- Serve as a professional sounding board for parents’ concerns about their children. Parents are the best advocates for their children, but the lengthy process of obtaining academic services can leave them feeling disenfranchised and angry. Parental contact with our psychiatric consultants can help diffuse unnecessary tensions and collectively refocus parents and school officials on the shared goal of maximizing learning.
- Maximize least restrictive classroom settings. While our psychiatrists will honestly say when a classroom setting is not adequate for a child, many times, alterations less drastic than a new classroom can help. These changes may include medication, behavioral programs, or additional in-class services or pull-outs. At other times, a change in outpatient treatment approaches can also facilitate classroom learning, and School Psychiatrists can inform outside clinicians about the in-school impact of their treatments.
- Transition students from outside educational facilities. Many day programs and residential facilities are justifiably anxious about returning students, who have functioned within highly structured settings on complex medication regimens, to the less-structured classroom in a public school. School Psychiatrists can closely coordinate the transition process to help ensure a smooth re-entry into the public school system.
- Provide didactic presentations to schools’ teachers, clinicians, and administrators. A little information goes a long way when available to those who need it most. Let our child psychiatrists create customized sessions to meet the training needs of your staff.
- Offer consultation on system-wide external events affecting staff and students, such as suicide epidemics, war, and natural disasters. Even the most seasoned school professionals find themselves looking for help talking with students and other staff members about these painful and often overwhelming traumas. School Psychiatrists can facilitate the dialogue.
- Improve employee relations. Sometimes the demands of educating challenging students can strain relations among staff, which can affect the team process. Our consultants are specially trained to recognize when discussions about students also entail the interests of individual staff members, and we can help advance the negotiation process in a way that protects everyone’s needs.
At the Andover Seaport Program, a consulting psychiatrist helped this alternative educational program to improve student grades, reduce absenteeism, tardiness and dismissals, and increase mainstreaming, saving the program $15,000 per student¹.
¹ Rappaport, Nancy. School Consultation/Intervention Emerging Models (2001), Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America 10(1);13-24.