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BCIU Launches Mental Health Resource Website for Berks Community

The Berks County Intermediate Unit (BCIU) has launched a mental health resources website for the Berks County community. The website is an extension of berksiu.org and provides key resources and information for administrators, school mental health workers, parents, and students to support well-being and mental health. Members of the community are encouraged to visit the website at berksiu.org/bcmentalhealth.

The website was created to spread awareness about local mental health resources. Upon meeting with schools, county agencies, and community providers, it was realized that many parents, school staff, and community members are unaware of the resources located within Berks County limits. The website acts as a sole location to house mental health resources and information that is easily accessible to all.

BCIU leaders, Director Dr. Michelle Reichard-Huff and Assistant Director Dr. Sara George, in the Office of Early Childhood & Student Services, created an outline of what should be included on the website to support schools, families, students, and the community with resources. Ms. Jessica Bailey, Guidance Counselor at the BCIU Learning Academy at Thomas Ford, developed a layout for the site and led a team of school counseling interns on the development and implementation of the project. In coordination with Ms. Bailey, the school counseling interns from West Chester University, Lancaster Bible College, and Kutztown University worked to gather and organize the information for the website into a Google site before it was added to berksiu.org.

Dr. Sara George highlighted the importance of this resource, “Although national resources are very important, having local resources in one location is key to ensuring families, schools, and community members can get the help they need. Families are much more comfortable reaching out for help when they have one place to go and know that help is available in the immediate local area.” Ms. Jessica Bailey added, “There was a lot of work put into this, and I hope it serves a great purpose for our community.”

Students, families, school staff and administration, mental health workers, and community members/providers can benefit from having these resources at their fingertips. Information and resources on the website include:

  • Local hotlines and immediate support
  • Important information organized by mental health disorder
  • Counseling and services in Berks County
  • Resources specific to administrators, school mental health workers, parents, and students
  • Important contact information

Dr. Michelle Reichard-Huff offered, “We would like to share our appreciation to our Berks County school districts and agency partners including Concern, Malvern Community Health Services, Berks County Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities Program, the Greater Reading Mental Health Alliance, Council on Chemical Abuse, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness – Berks County, for their contributions and feedback regarding this valuable resource. The BCIU is fortunate to have the county-wide collaboration and commitment of many organizations whose missions intertwine to support the mental health and well-being of our community.”

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