All children deserve equitable access to physical and mental health care. They deserve to receive care when they experience a physical symptom, like a stomach ache, headache, or pink eye, and similarly they deserve to receive care when they experience emotional challenges, like depression, anxiety, or academic stress. Hazel’s mental health services bring therapy to children wherever they are—at school or at home.
Children and teens need support today
Across the country, children are experiencing a crisis of mental health, a crisis that has been brewing for years, but was broadened and amplified by COVID-19. They are experiencing mental health challenges more than ever before, and many are unable to access the care they need. Today, nearly 1 in 5 children has a mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder, but only 20% receive care from a specialized mental health care provider. Often, families who do seek out help are forced to wait up to 6 months for an appointment. Factors like provider shortages, cost, stigma, and other social determinants also introduce challenges and hinder access to services. Without timely access to care, many kids end up with worsening symptoms, often landing in a hospital emergency department.
Partnering with schools to increase access to therapy
Hazel Health partners with school districts across the country to bring mental health services directly to students. By addressing student mental health concerns and facilitating ongoing support, Hazel alleviates the burden on schools that are already stretched thin on time and resources. With Hazel, all consented students can connect directly and easily with locally licensed, culturally competent therapists for evidence-based counseling via telehealth.
“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, school districts were operating at maximum capacity. Now, the level of need for support has been severely exacerbated. Referral systems are designed to link schools and communities, but the reality is that any viable solution also needs to expand clinical capacity to meet student needs as they arise, not weeks or months later.” - Andrew Post, former Assistant Superintendent of a Florida school district, and Hazel Chief Innovation Officer
Hazel removes the enormous delay that young people face when waiting for an appointment, at a time when responsiveness is essential. By connecting students with a therapist within a few weeks of the initial referral, Hazel removes the burden of long wait times. Hazel provides one intake session to understand the students needs, followed by short term teletherapy—at no cost to the student or family (using secure video technology to ensure confidentiality). For students who require longer term therapy, Hazel facilitates support from local providers in the students’ community.
Culturally competent therapists
The backbone of the mental health service are the providers that reflect and understand the communities they serve. Offering a team of providers reflective of their communities is a core Hazel value - 60%+ of Hazel’s mental health providers identify as Persons of Color (PoC) and 30%+ speak multiple languages.
Hazel’s mental health providers are culturally competent—they are aware of cultural differences and have the ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people across a variety of cultures.
"I never wanted to do [therapy, but my therapist] is very nice and really easy to talk to. I was happy she is Black. I feel like she can understand things that other people can’t." - Student, Aurora Public Schools
Hazel’s licensed mental health providers, which include Clinical Social Workers, Professional Counselors, Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists are experts in helping young people with the unique challenges they face, including depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD, grief, struggles with peer and family relationships, and much more. The therapists’ goal is to help each student build strategies to cope with the emotions they are experiencing.
Consenting for mental health services
For a student to access Hazel’s mental health services, a parent or guardian must consent by completing a consent form. Students over 18 can consent themselves, and in some states, minor consent is an option.
Hazel Health is working to transform access to pediatric care to help improve the quality of children’s lives and combat the systematic inequalities that prevent millions from receiving the help they need. Hazel’s mental health services directly address the ongoing challenges that students, families, and school faculty face in their attempts to streamline identification, treatment, and ongoing support for mental health concerns.
With Hazel’s support, pediatric mental health can be addressed in a manner that’s effective, efficient, and accessible for all.