ROCHESTER, Minnesota – The Southeastern Services Cooperative (SSC) held the Minnesota School Administrators Association (MASA) Region 1 meeting on Wednesday which featured a mental health services program known as of Althing.
Kari Kubicek is the head of educational services at CSC and said the program offers free mental health screenings to students.
“Althing is basically a device that students or staff, we’re kind of focused on the student side here, can go through an assessment and it’s basically going to show their risk indicators for suicidal ideation, mental health supports, food insecurity, anything health related,” Kubicek said.
The way it works, according to Althing’s Matt Rush, is to ask students a series of questions, which then connect a user to a medical provider.
If risky behavior, such as poor mental health or substance abuse, is detected by the questionnaire, a family can then pursue treatment after receiving a referral from an Althing medical provider or community provider. , according to Kubicek.
Kubicek said the system has already been implemented once in Austin.
“Austin Public Schools did this a few years ago and they had a great response from the students. 100% turnout and I believe 97% honesty came from the students. They recognized answered honestly,” Kubicek said.
Kubicek said the Iowa Department of Education has partnered with Althing to provide its mental health service to more than 300 school districts.