ASU study: Four out of five students helped by ASC Center Read more: Jefferson Post - ASU study Four out of five students helped by ASC Center

A recent study from the Appalachian State University Department of Psychology found that four out of five students who received mental health services through the Assessment Support and Counseling (ASC) Center “at a rural high school in western N.C.” were improved or recovered during the 2011-12 school year.

Published in May, the study showed that 78 percent of students referred to the ASC Center reported less psychological distress after an average of 15, 40-minute individual treatment sessions across an average of 20 weeks.

Participants were 58 students ages 14-18 who showed clinical levels of emotional, behavioral and adaptive functioning problems. Students’ improvement over the year was measured with pre- and post-treatment self-report assessments.

The study was conducted by ASU’s Abby Albright, Dr. Kurt Michael, Cameron Massey, Rafaelle Sale, Alex Kirk and Theresa Egan.


B.O.E. gets update on student mental health services

After the Ashe County Board of Education approved the appointment of new superintendent Dr. Todd Holden at its regular meeting June 3, it received a year-end assessment of the mental health services provided to the district’s students.

Ashe County Assessment Support and Counseling Center’s Dr. Kurt Michael presented data on the “Ask” center’s effectiveness as a free, on-demand mental health service for Ashe County High School students.

Michael said the ASC center had served 10 percent of the student body during the 2012-13 school year, with 47 students taking part in individual therapy, and 45 taking part in group therapy. The students averaged about 13 sessions.

“I’m happy to report overall results are good,” he said.



B.O.C. discusses county’s mental health

The ASC Center of Ashe County High School met with the board of education on February 4 to report the effectiveness of our school mental health model. The local news reported the event, which can be read below.

Dr. Kurt Michael presenting at the BOE meetingDuring the BOC meeting on Monday, Feb. 4, representatives from the Ashe County Assessment, Support, and Counseling (ASC) Center addressed the topic of mental health and suicide prevention in the high school.

The ASC Center is an interdisciplinary school mental health partnership between Appalachian State University and Ashe County High School. The ASC Center uses counselors to address students’ mental health-related barriers to learning at no cost to the students or their families.

"It is our intention to continue serving these young people," said Dr. Kurt Michael, the ASC Center’s project director. "Treatment is based on need, not the ability to pay for services."

Since the ASC Center began it’s work at ACHS in the spring of 2012, the group has evaluated, treated, consulted with, or referred over 80 Ashe County students, representing at least eight percent of the student body.

"Although the evaluation of services delivered to Ashe County students this year is not yet complete, the preliminary findings from the primary outcome measure indicate that the majority of students served thus far are reporting clinically significant improvements in their symptom," read information from the ASC Center.



Psychology's Albright, Massey, Egan and Michael present findings at the Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health

At the national Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health Professor Kurt Michael, Clinical Research Coordinators Cameron Massey and Theresa Egan, and 3rd year graduate student Abby Albright, presented their findings. The conference was held in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Psychology foursome were there representing App State and as members of The Carolina Network for School Mental Health.



Outgoing school board members praised

ASC Center update

The board also spent much of Monday’s meeting receiving an update on the Assessment, Support and Counseling Center at Watauga High School. The center, a partnership with Appalachian State University now in its seventh year, is meant to help students dealing with emotional issues so they can better perform academically.

Free counseling sessions are provided by ASU graduate students in related fields to assist students with a variety of problems.

According to coordinator Kurt Michael, 64 students were served in the 2011-12 school year. Six out of 10 were female, and the average age of students served was 16.5 years old.

Overall, 73 percent of students served by the ASC Center charted improved attendance, 73 percent experienced fewer disciplinary incidents and 54 percent saw increased academic performance.

See the full article here.