Mental Health Programs and Services

Somerset’s overriding goal is to provide children an opportunity to experience success in structured individualized educational and therapeutic settings in an effort to shift their inner working model to a more positive functional one. Through this intervention, the student will increase positive personal and social interaction, as well as student and family functioning so that the student achieves their full potential, and remains in the least restrictive home and school environments. Long term strategies are developed to assist the students in learning how to manage their mental illnesses in the least restrictive educational and social environments. Each student will have a comprehensive treatment plan which will map his/her road to recovery, and monitor progress toward his/her educational benefit.

Extended Day Class

As a Special Education class for emotionally disturbed students, the Extended Day Class provides continuous therapeutic and crisis intervention support for students exhibiting severe emotional challenges. These challenges are often presented as significant learning and behavioral difficulties. The key feature is a longer school day and a classroom setting with a high ratio of educational and mental health professionals that allows for on-going daily therapeutic interventions, which will assist the students to effectively access their education. The daily interventions are designed to help students with long-term mental health disorders, to live their lives successfully. Continuous collaboration with students’ stakeholders, Least Restrictive Environment(LRE) placement team members, and district representatives, ensures the successful and timely transition to less restrictive main stream environments.

Day Treatment

The Day Treatment Program uses a concept based on the Recovery Model of Mental Health Services. This model emphasizes the central role the individual plays in his/her own recovery. Through selection and participation in individualized evidenced based interventions, the student will develop a healthy lifestyle. Empowerment, self-definition, hope and meaningful roles encompass the recovery values that the individual acquires. A student will obtain a set of tools and techniques to assist him/her to restore and develop the ability to access his/her education, live independently, socialize and use effective life management skills. Groups are designed to teach daily life skills, through skill building therapies, and adjunctive therapies, which utilize self-expression (art, recreation, dance, and music) and use group process to facilitate the student’s development of skills necessary to deal with individual problems. The group process also allows and encourages peer interaction and support in developing problem solving strategies. We believe quality programs must provide measurable outcomes. Day Treatment is an after school program that consists of 210 minutes of therapeutic milieu, which include Process Groups, Skill Building Social Skills, Adjunctive Therapies, Community Milieu Meetings, Crisis Response Planning and Family Counseling.

Designated Instructional Services

DIS provides support to students with special needs in the areas of hearing, vision, speech and language, motor development, and behavior. These services are provided to help ensure success within the classroom and must be agreed upon during the student’s Individualized Education Program development. The DIS specialist may provide services directly to students or in collaboration with the classroom teacher in providing specialized instruction or adaptations within the student’s educational program and services. Adaptive Physical Education - APE specialists provide direct instruction to enable a child with a motor delay or disability to participate in physical education activities with their classmates.

Behavior Intervention Services– A specialist works with students with disabilities, their parents, and the educational staff to develop positive behavior interventions.
Career/Vocational Guidance -Teachers, counselors and transition coaches assist our students in employment, career, and independence. Sessions focus specifically on career development, employment preparation, achieving independence, and integration in the workplace and community.

Counseling - Somerset counselors, will assist students in the areas of academic achievement, personal/social development and career development. This can include helping children with personal and social concerns such as developing self-knowledge, making effective decisions, learning health choices, and improving responsibility. Counselors may also help children with future planning related to setting and reaching academic goals, developing a positive attitude toward learning, and recognizing and utilizing academic strengths.

Occupational Therapy - Provides specialized services in fine/perceptual motor training, daily living skills and sensorimotor integration for special education students.

Speech and Language Therapy - Provides direct articulation, language, voice, and fluency interventions to students placed in a variety of general and special education settings.

Therapeutic Counseling - Use of psychosocial methods within a professional relationship with a licensed mental health professional, to assist the student to achieve greater realization of his potential.