Frederik Schulin from Insight Treatment Program and Matt Watson from SCVi charter school in Santa Clarita sat down to discuss the importance of talking about teen mental health at SCVi on the Insight Treatment Hour.
“I know at your school you take mental health very seriously for the teenagers,” said Frederik Schulin from Insight.
“The idea of destigmatizing mental health care is something that is very, very important to us,” said Watson.
Watson explained that when they address teen mental health concerns at SCVi they are also able to improve a student’s academic performance as well. That was one of the reasons Watson gave as to why it is important for SCVi to destigmatize teen mental health care.
“It’s important to have a school or a community around the kids when some of these things come up,” Watson said.
One thing Watson noticed when he first started working at SCVi was the students seemed to feel a lot more comfortable in their environment than they had at schools he had worked at previously.
“[It is] important that in a school, in a treatment center, in a family — it’s important that kids feel included and that they’re safe to express themselves,” Watson said.
One way SCVi is planning to address teen mental health issues is by partnering up with the Insight Treatment Program to provide students and parents mental health resources.
One approach offered by Insight is for a panel of teens who have gone through the Insight teen treatment program to speak to students at SCVi about their experiences with their own mental health. Schulin said this might be held virtually due to the risks posed by in-person contact during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schulin noted it would also be possible for Insight to hold a special night for parents to learn about teen mental health issues from the Insight Treatment Program staff. The staff would educate parents about mental health warning signs, how their insurance might help pay for treatment and general education regarding mental health in addition to substance abuse issues.