Hazel Health partnered with DCPS staff during summer 2021 to plan a successful fall launch. To support the district’s goals, Hazel put together a team that would uniquely serve DCPS, including an account manager, three dedicated customer success managers, and over 25 therapists locally licensed in Florida, who specialize in child and adolescent mental health. In September 2021, Hazel began hand-delivering equipment, including iPads, iPad stands, and medicine carts, to each of DCPS’s 152 schools. The program officially launched in October 2021.
While the need for additional mental health support drove DCPS’s partnership with Hazel, DCPS opted to implement Hazel’s whole child care program - both physical and mental health services. In addition to receiving counseling services directly from licensed therapists, DCPS students could connect with a doctor through a video visit, either at the school health office, or at home. Through this integrated approach, students could receive support for medical needs through Hazel, and Hazel’s physical and mental health teams could work together in the case where a mental health concern is surfaced through a physical health visit (i.e. a stomach ache that indicates anxiety).
In order to serve as an extension of DCPS’s Full Service Schools initiative, Hazel and DCPS established a protocol for therapy referrals that would seamlessly embed within the district’s existing mental health support infrastructure. Seven DCPS counselors were designated as referrers for Hazel once FSS waitlists reached capacity. In addition, students could be referred to Hazel’s mental health services through a Hazel physical health visit, or as a self-referral from the student’s family.