Colton's school-based health clinic evolves
After more than a year of offering services in Colton, the school-based health clinic has seen success and change. The clinic no longer offers medical services, but continues to provide mental health support.
The clinic, offered by Clackamas County Health, Housing & Human Services, opened at Colton High School in fall 2017, offering medical and behavioral health services to any persons ages 0-18 who live in the district.
But, the Colton community was not widely taking advantage of the medical services. So, Clackamas County opted to eliminate those services, while still serving the community's mental health needs.
"For whatever reason, we just didn't have a ton of people utilizing the health piece," said Colton High School Principal Grant Hayball. "I don't know if it was because people outside in the community were intimidated about coming to the school to receive services, it being a new thing, or whatnot. So, we didn't get a ton of traction."
Hayball said that since stopping those services, many have inquired. So he's not giving up.
"We're trying to slowly get it back," Hayball said.
But while the community didn't take advantage of the medical services, the response to mental health services has been overwhelming to the point that the clinic may increase hours.
The provider, Deanna Pickett, has been staying longer than scheduled.
"She's log-jammed—almost doesn't have enough time," Hayball said. "So we're talking with them to possibly provide a half-day or another day."
Hayball pointed out that mental health support in the schools is long overdue.
"These are things that have not been addressed for a lot of years in education," Hayball said. "More and more schools absolutely need this for kids, because they need the mental health support. Most parents are not trained in mental health training and don't necessarily know how to address their son or daughter's needs sometimes.
"It's wonderful for the school to provide service besides academic," he continued. "We want to help kids all around."
The clinic is open at Colton High School every Thursday that school is in session from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is open to anyone within the school district, ages 0-18. To schedule an appointment, call 503-655-8471.