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$1.2 Million Grant Expands Mental Health Services in Cheatham County Schools

Centerstone to provide school-based counseling services for students in six schools


Nashville, Tenn.—Centerstone, the nation’s largest provider of community-based behavioral healthcare, is partnering with the Cheatham County School District (CCSD) to implement school-based counseling services in six Cheatham County elementary schools. The student counseling program is funded through a three-year, $1.2 million grant provided by the U.S. Department of Education to the Cheatham County School District with Centerstone designated as the contracted service provider for all behavioral health services associated with the grant.

The grant provides $400,000 annually to cover the cost of in-school therapy and case management for students who experience emotional, behavioral and psychological challenges. The grant will ensure elementary school students from pre-kindergarten through fourth gradereceive needed services, regardless of their ability to pay.

“We want to ensure treatment is accessible for all children who need it,” said John Page, Centerstone’s Senior Vice President for Child, Adolescent and Family Services. “By offering therapy and counseling services within the school environment, our therapists and case managers are able to identify behavioral problems early and provide help for children and their families. This grant-funded program is particularly important for students who are uninsured and whose families cannot afford to pay for services.”

Students who struggle with behavioral disorders, hyperactivity, depression or other difficulties will be referred by teachers to Centerstone therapists. Centerstone School-Based Therapists/Case Managers will then work closely with school guidance counselors to provide mental health counseling for students. Centerstone will also provide support for families and school personnel. Parents will be involved in treatment decisions, and connected with additional resources, if necessary. Additionally, Therapists/Case Managers will work closely with school personnel, training them to work with at-risk children.

School-Based Services will be offered at Ashland City Elementary, East Cheatham Elementary, Kingston Springs Elementary, Pegram Elementary, Pleasant View Elementary and West Cheatham Elementary. Centerstone promoted two employees and hired five new staff members to fill positions associated with the new program.

As Centerstone’s School-Based Coordinator, Crystal Roedler will oversee six Therapists/Case Managers working within Cheatham County elementary schools. Roedler is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), and previously worked as a Centerstone Therapist/Case Manager at Norman Smith Elementary School in Clarksville, Tenn. Roedler earned her Bachelor of Science degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin in River Falls, Wis. She earned her Masters of Science degree in social work from the University of Minnesota in Duluth, Minn.

As a Centerstone Therapist/Case Manager, Michelle DeMent will work with students at West Cheatham Elementary School. DeMent previously served as a Family Services Counselor for Three Springs, Inc. In her former role, DeMent counseled children with emotional and behavioral issues, and worked closely with their families to devise treatment plans. Additionally, she led a weekly multi-disciplinary treatment team, and facilitated monthly therapeutic and educational family group sessions. DeMent earned her Bachelor of Science degree in behavioral science from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tenn. She earned her
Masters of Arts degree in counseling and guidance from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La. DeMent is currently working to earn her Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) designation.

Lisa Derreberry joins Centerstone as a Case Manager/Therapist at Ashland City Elementary School. Derreberry previously worked for Community Counseling Center as an Intensive In-Home Services Specialist. In that position, Derreberry provided services for youth at risk of entering foster care. Derreberry worked closely with families, leading skills-building courses aimed at keeping families intact. Derreberry earned her Bachelor of Science degree in social work from Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn. She earned her Masters of Science degree in social work from Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla. Derreberry is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Stephanie Highsmith Evans is a Centerstone Therapist/Case Manager, and will work with students at East Cheatham Elementary School. Evans joined Centerstone two years ago as a Crisis Specialist. In her previous role she assessed individuals experiencing psychiatric emergencies. She is trained to identify suicidal and homicidal risk factors in individuals. Evans earned her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and Masters of Science degree in community counseling from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn.

Vanessa Kelley joins Centerstone as a Case Manager/Therapist at Kingston Springs Elementary School. Kelley previously worked as a Social Work Intern, providing individual and group therapy for middle school students within the Broward County Public School System in South Florida. Kelley earned her Bachelor of Science degree in social work from Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn. She earned her Masters of Science degree in social work from Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla.

Nova Sarkar-Sisk joins Centerstone as a Case Manager/Therapist at Pegram Elementary School. Sisk previously worked as a Clinical Therapist for Hermitage Hall where she held individual, group and family therapy sessions for adolescent males with behavioral problems. Sisk earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn. She earned her Masters of Arts degree in professional counseling from Argosy University in Nashville, Tenn.

Shirley Stanifer joins Centerstone as a Case Manager/Therapist at Pleasant View Elementary School. Stanifer previously worked as an Association Counselor for Okaloosa Baptist Association of Florida. Stanifer earned her Bachelor of Science degree in education, Masters of Science degree in education, and Educational Specialist (Ed. S.) designation from the University of Tennesse in Knoxville, Tenn. Stanifer has more than 18 years of counseling experience and is a member of the American Association of Christian Counseling.

About Centerstone

Centerstone (www.centerstone.org), a not-for-profit organization, is the nation’s largest provider of community-based behavioral healthcare. With a history that spans over fifty years, Centerstone provides a full range of behavioral health and related educational services to more than 69,000 individuals of all ages and their families annually. Children, adolescents, adults, eniors, and families all receive help from a multitude of different programs in more than 120 facilities and 150 partnership locations in Indiana and Tennessee. Centerstone is accredited by The Joint Commission in Indiana and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in Tennessee. For more information about Centerstone, please call toll free at 888-291-4357.

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