Access to Mental Health Services Makes Healing Possible

Thursday, March 5, 2015

PATH Cassie

Contributor: Mary Wisnet, Community Development Officer at United Way Fox Cities

In the past six years, United Way's PATH (Providing Access to Healing) for Students has been implemented in ten school districts in the Fox Cities, providing 830 students with school-based mental health therapy.

United Way's PATH for Students has a significant impact on the lives of the youth it serves. Recently, NBC26 did a special report that highlighted the impact that PATH has had in area schools including the fact that eight out of ten students who have utilized the program have improved their overall academic performance. Cassie*, a freshman at a local high school, was a student in need of PATH's services; she had dreams of one day going to medical school, but suffered from debilitating anxiety.

Early in the school year, Cassie began having difficulty making it to her first class because of her anxiety. When Bob, one of the school counselors, became aware of the problem, he arranged to have Cassie meet him at the office each morning and he escorted her to class. By October, Cassie's condition had gotten worse and she had difficulty making it into the building. Bob knew that without treatment, Cassie's anxiety would only increase. He had seen it before; she would begin missing school and, by the end of the year, she would probably drop out.

Fortunately, PATH was offered at Menasha High School and Bob referred her to the program. By Christmas she was showing improvement and was attending class regularly. Cassie has since graduated from Menasha High School. She got a summer job in retail and is now attending a local college.

Want to learn more? United Way Fox Cities is facilitating a panel discussion about United Way's PATH for students on Monday, March 9 from noon to 1:00 p.m. with representatives from United Way Fox Cities, Catalpa Health, Family Services and Lutheran Social Services. The panel discussion will take place at Catalpa Health (please use entrance #2 on the south end of 444 N. Westhill Boulevard). RSVP to attend the event.

*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the individual involved.