Roanoke City Schools has partnered with Hazel Health to provide students with virtual mental healthcare services at no cost. The school system aims to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health care and break down barriers that may prevent students from accessing the help they need. Superintendent Verletta White believes that everyone can benefit from some support at times, and addressing the emotional, social, and psychological well-being of students is crucial for improving their school performance and attendance.
Hazel Health offers services in multiple languages, ensuring that a diverse student population in Roanoke City can access the help they need. Students will have the opportunity to speak directly with a licensed therapist online. The program also aims to help students deal with trauma-related issues, regardless of the type of trauma they have experienced. White emphasized the importance of promoting wholeness and wellness for all students, regardless of their background or circumstances.
Since its launch, 18 students from 12 different schools have utilized the program. The school officials are also working to add physical telehealth services through Hazel Health in the near future. This partnership was initiated in response to requests from students in the district who expressed a need for access to more mental health services. The overall goal is to ensure that all students receive the support they need to thrive academically and emotionally.