Roanoke City Schools is committed to breaking down barriers and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health care. Superintendent Verletta White believes that everyone can benefit from support at times, which is why the school system has partnered with Hazel Health to provide virtual mental health services at no cost to students. This partnership was initiated in response to requests from students in the district who expressed a need for access to more mental health services.
Through this program, students will have the opportunity to speak directly with a licensed therapist online. White emphasized the importance of addressing students’ emotional, social, and psychological well-being in order to improve their school performance and attendance. The program also aims to help students cope with trauma-related issues, regardless of the type of trauma they experienced.
Hazel Health offers services in multiple languages, ensuring that Roanoke’s diverse student population can access the care they need. Since its launch, 18 students from 12 different schools have used the program. School officials are also working to add physical telehealth services through Hazel Health in the near future. White believes the overall goal is to promote wholeness and wellness for all students, regardless of their background or circumstances.