School district launching initiative to provide counseling to employees

in Education by

From staff reports

The Beaufort County School District is launching #YouMatterBCSD, a new initiative that will offer discounted counseling services to employees and their families.

Through the district’s partnership with Bluffton-based Hope Performance Systems, #YouMatterBCSD counseling programs can be accessed by employees and family members at any time at regional sites throughout Beaufort County.

“Whether we’re talking about teachers or administrators or school staff or bus drivers, our employees’ jobs can be stressful even in the best of times,” Superintendent Frank Rodriguez said in a release. “The pressures of working during a pandemic have placed additional stressors on our employees and their families.”

Beginning this week, district employees can begin attending a series of free in-person or virtual peer group sessions to introduce the new program and explain its features.

#YouMatterBCSD will offer mental health supports that include peer groups, group counseling as well as individual sessions with licensed counselors from Hope Performance Systems.

Individual Counseling can include anxiety, depression, substance abuse, marriage counseling, adolescent and child family counseling, life coaching, nutritional and wellness counseling and play therapy.

Group sessions can include grief groups, eating disorders, substance abuse, trauma stress, anger management and parenting skills.

A counselor will be housed at the District Office to provide on-site counseling services, interventions and support. Staff can choose to receive counseling at the Hope Performance Systems clinic sites or at the District satellite office.

While the District is providing peer group counseling sessions to staff at no cost, staff members seeking additional services have the option to utilize their health insurance provider or the discounted cash rate, created just for Beaufort County School District employees. Additional integrative health care options include: chiropractic care, physical therapy, dietetic counseling, acupuncture, individual personal training and virtual gym memberships.

Alice Walton, the school district’s Chief Administrative Services and Human Resources Officer, said #YouMatterBCSD will be the first in a series of new initiatives designed to improve the physical and emotional health of district employees.

“Our goal is to make the Beaufort County School District the best place to work in South Carolina,” said Walton, who said few if any districts in South Carolina are offering a similar program for their employees. “Healthy, happy and productive district employees will help us support healthy, happy and productive students and their families.”