LYNWOOD—Lynwood Unified will provide occupational therapy and assessments to a select group of elementary and middle school students and their families starting in September through the Early Individualized Mental Health Project, an early intervention program.
The District’s Student Services Department developed the 16-week health and wellness program with Los Angeles-based pediatric clinic Therapy West Inc. as part of the District’s ongoing Health Collaborative. The program is funded by a $45,000 grant from the Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center.
“Lynwood recognizes that not all students learn at the same pace or socialize in the same way, yet every child deserves the same opportunity to receive an education,” Lynwood Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “Our goal is to give these students and their families the resources they need to live a full and happy life.”
The Early Individualized Mental Health Project will be administered twice-weekly to two groups of approximately 30 students, who will receive occupational therapy in a combination of individual, two-child and small group activities, building mindfulness, self-determination, self-awareness, self-assessment and introspection skills.
Therapists will meet with parents to assess their ability to aid and support their children’s development and teach them exercises and techniques to use at home. Therapists will also meet with teachers to assess each student’s classroom behavior and provide teachers with tools and strategies to reinforce the use of the new skills.
The program will treat students for a period of nine to 16 weeks. Student progress will be monitored through written assessments, classroom observation, teacher feedback, parent interviews and questionnaires, one-on-one meetings and weekly progress reports.
Kaiser Permanente shares the District’s vision of investing resources into the Lynwood community to provide accessible mental health care programs to meet the needs of students and their families.
“Investing in the community is part of our DNA at Kaiser Permanente. Mental health care is a significant need in our communities and we strive to innovate different approaches to meet that need,” said Jim Branchick, senior vice president and area manager of Kaiser PermanentDowney Medical Center. “We recognize we can be more impactful when we partner with other organizations, like the Lynwood Unified School District, which shares that vision.”
The Lynwood Partners Educational Foundation helped the District secure the grant aided by Darrell Stewart of Intel corporation who serves as president of the Foundation.
"Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center recognizes the critical need for mental health services in public schools as vital to the success of students,” Stewart said. “We are grateful for their visionary support."
Superintendent Crosthwaite said the District relies on community partners to provide a broad range of student services essential to removing barriers to success.
“We are deeply appreciative of the support we are receiving from our partners at Kaiser Permanente who have graciously offered their services to the Lynwood community,” he said.