How It's Done: Implementing Mental Health Tech Tools

Child holding iPad in front of face
(Image credit: iStock/yaruta)

We often use a concierge to arrange spa treatments and restaurant reservations. One California school district is employing a care concierge and online platform which can help students and school families access mental health. 

Who: Don Ross, Director of Student and Support Services

Where: Elk Grove Unified School District, Elk Grove, California

What: Using Care Solace platform for 24/7 Mental Health Access

At Elk Grove Unified, we recognized the need to support our students, families and staff with the ability to access behavioral and/or mental health support 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. 

Our partnership with Care Solace, and their ability to assist students and families in navigating access to these services with an online platform, was a perfect fit. The process is simple: Users simply go online, answer a few questions, and are then immediately connected to a Care Concierge expert who coordinates care with a mental health or substance abuse provider. To use Care Solace, individuals answer ten basic questions in order to receive an extensive list of referrals to applicable care providers. The system also filters by age, gender, zip code and special requests.

We started with a soft roll out, giving our in-district support providers (social workers, school psychologists, mental health therapists and school counselors) an overview of the services and training for how to conduct a warm hand off. We then trained our administration. After about a two week soft roll out, we conducted a district-wide campaign to let our students, staff and community know about this service. 

Positive Results

Buy-in was immediate. During the first week we had an overwhelming positive response to the service.

We are seeing better outcomes for students. We want to help students build healthy minds, healthy bodies and healthy learning now, and forever. Our goal is to ensure students and their families are connected to the support and resources they need.

Biggest Challenge

So far, there have not been any challenges or obstacles reported. We mostly get questions about who can access the service. Again, any student, any member of the student’s family, our EGUSD staff and any member of their family, can use the service.

Pro Tips

Before we entered our partnership with Care Solace, we had several product demonstrations for our service providers, directors and program specialist and school staff. We wanted to make sure that people with differing perspectives were able to see the product and ask questions.  We involved many departments throughout the school district.

Finding Funding

We currently use Medi-Cal funding. (Care Solace takes into account all types of private insurance including Medi-Cal, Medicaid, and Medicare and those that have no insurance.) EGUSD’s partnership with Care Solace provides access to services for students, staff, and families at no cost.

Tools They Use

Care Solace is an online resource with a live 24×7 concierge line. We also have a system of positive behavioral support throughout the school district, and we use a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) to focus on developing the social emotional learning skills of our students so they are prepared for academic and life success.

Sascha Zuger

Sascha has nearly two decades of experience as a freelance journalist writing for national magazines, including The Washington Post, LA Times, Christian Science Monitor, National Geographic Traveler, and others. She writes about education, travel and culinary topics.