I am extremely excited to introduce our new staff! The Counseling Department at Riverside is pleased to share the additional resources of three (3) Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) supporting our students and families. These positions were made possible through grants that Riverside obtained from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)/US Dept. of Justice: STOP School Violence and the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD).
There is an updated Request for Mental Health Services at the bottom of the page. This form seeks to improve access to mental health services for students and their families, simplifying the referral process for everyone! We need to track, measure, and report back on the effectiveness of this program in order to fulfill the parameters of the grant, so we do ask that you use this form for all mental health referrals.
When students, their families, or school personnel identify a need for mental health services, it is important that a qualified therapist responds in a timely manner, ideally within the school setting. It is with that goal in mind that Riverside welcomes Nicole Brush, LPC, Jacob Herber, LPC, Samantha Valente, LPC and Tina Wydeen, PhD, LCSW (as the MH supervisor) to our district.
Understanding that there are many different services under the umbrella of “mental health services”, below are brief descriptions as found on the updated Request for Mental Health Services that we hope may be helpful:
- Out Patient: individual treatment/therapy traditionally provided within an office setting or clinic. Currently at Riverside, there are three (3) masters’ level therapists employed by the Luzerne Intermediate Unit 18 (LIU) serving our students within our schools. The counselors working in our district are Ashley, Lexi, and Jamie.
- Out Patient Psychiatric Evaluation: individual time with a Medical Doctor who offers a diagnosis and treatment options, including medication. The psychiatrist who services Riverside students is Dr. Khalid Mahmood, MD.
- Medication Management: a licensed clinician/medical doctor, or someone who can practice under their own license with a MD’s approval to prescribe and monitor medication. Riverside students are under the care of Melissa Latona, Physician Assistant.
- Community-School Based Behavioral Health (CSBBH): offered by LIU 18, this is a specialized, school-based treatment program designed to serve as a clinical home for youth ages 5 to 18 years, who demonstrate an emotional or behavioral disturbance that interferes with their ability to be educated and to function in the home and community. CSBBH utilizes a multi-disciplinary team approach including responsibility for clinical treatment, coordination of care and case management, on-call crisis services and provides individual, family, and group counseling services. Our CSBBH Team consists of two Mobile Therapists, Tina and a new member will be joining us after the holiday break, and (3) Behavioral Health Technicians, Nicole B, Kevin, and Tara.
- Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs): therapists who have advanced training in offering individual, family, and group counseling that can be delivered within the school building. This newest addition to the mental health services offered within Riverside allows us to service students and families with the highest level of therapeutic care while removing the barriers of transportation and insurance. As you will see in the attached bio information, our three LPCs have extensive training and are specialized in different areas. The initial plan is to have each LPC stationed in each of our three buildings with the flexibility to see students across the district depending on each student’s individual needs. Samantha will primarily work at West Elementary, Jacob at East Elementary, and Nicole at the Jr-Sr High School. Please click here to view a brief bio from our LPCs: LPC Bios
- Professional School Counselors: Our school counselors help students reach their academic, emotional, and personal/social goals. Michelle and Laurie continue to help our students progress through the Jr-Sr High School while meeting their college and career goals.
Christine R. Wydeen Resume
Nicole Dunbar Brush Resume
Jacob Herber Resume
Samantha Valente Resume