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Centerstone Expands School-Based Behavioral Health Liaison Staff

Centerstone, a national leader in behavioral healthcare, has added 11 new school-based behavioral health liaison staff in Tennessee, supported with funding from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) as part of Governor Bill Lee’s allocation of funds for school-based behavioral health liaison in all 95 counties across the state.

School-based behavioral health liaisons are master’s level therapists that consult with classroom teachers to enhance learning environments for children who have or are at-risk for Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED), behavior problems, or substance use disorders. Liaisons also provide training and education for teachers about how to recognize substance use and mental health issues and side effects to medications among their students.  The liaisons serve as a link between the public schools and families.

Centerstone had liaisons serving in Decatur and Humphreys Counties, and the organization will now add liaisons based in Bedford, Franklin, Giles, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Marshall, Moore, Perry, Rhea and Robertson Counties.

“We are truly grateful for Governor Lee’s investment in the mental health of students across the state,” said Dr. Bob Vero, Centerstone’s regional chief executive officer. “So many children and adolescents are facing adverse, traumatic experiences from various sources. We have been providing school-based therapy for decades, and the addition of more school-based behavioral health liaisons will complement and strengthen our ongoing behavioral health services for children and youth.”

Centerstone employs school-based therapists who provide mental health treatment in more than 350 schools across Tennessee. Also available via telehealth, these services help students overcome behavioral, emotional or social problems that interfere with success at school and at home. Learn more at centerstone.org/school-based.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting so many facets of life, there has never been a time of greater focus on the mental health of our children, youth, and young adults. It is both fortunate and fortuitous that Governor Lee and the General Assembly budgeted the funding to expand this much-needed service to every county in the state,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams, LCSW. “With community partners like Centerstone, we have an unprecedented opportunity to change the lives of our state’s young people.”

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