Brighter Futures Consortium (Lexington, MO)

Name

  • Name:Michelle Rousch
  • Title:Assisant Superintendent

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Brighter Futures Consortium
  • Address:2309 Aull Lane
    Lexington, MO 64067
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:660-259-4391

User Email

Location

Click map for a full size active view.

General

  • Mission:
  • The Brighter Futures Consortium is an organization based in rural Missouri providing quality mental health services to youth 0-19 years old in the six public school districts within Lafayette County during the regular school day. Mental health services include but are not limited to individual, group, and family therapy, psychological evaluations, behavioral intervention plans, substance abuse counseling, social skills classes for students who have been diagnosed with Asperger's or Autism, anger management classes, parenting and teacher educational development, district personal in-service training. The Consortium was also developed to improve services for those children, youth and families who may lack resources for assistance or experience barriers.

    These barriers consists of: (1) lack of public or reliable transportation, (2) stigma related to obtaining services, (3) ability to pay for mental health services, and (4) lack of mental health providers. Addressing each of these barriers has been a significant goal of The Consortium. (1) Lack of public or reliable transportation has been addressed by allowing mental health professionals to see kids in the school during regular school hours. NYU Child Study Center reports that fewer than ten percent of America’s 80,000 public schools have comprehensive mental health services. This same report states that only 11% of students referred for mental health consultation in a community clinic ever make it to their first visit. However, more than 90% made it if there was a mental health clinic in their school. (2) Stigma related to obtaining mental health services has been focused on education for parenting and school district teacher staff. Strengthen community awareness regarding the importance of protecting and nurturing the mental health of young people and their families. Parents and caregivers being referred to Brighter Futures have been reticent, and oftentimes neglectful, regarding their counseling appointments. Residents in rural communities are often self-determined to the point of insisting they will take care of themselves and tend to be reluctant in acknowledging a mental health problem. As a result, the students and families often go un-served or under-served for their emotional issues, preventing success at home, school and in community. (3) Ability to pay for mental heath services. Many private and public insurance companies do not provide adequate reimbursement for mental health services. Typically they also cap the number of visits hampering significant progress. The Consortium pays for direct mental health services to contracted providers, and because it is a school based program the progress of students can be monitored not only by mental health providers but also teachers, school counselors, and district staff. (4) As a rural county, the number of qualified licensed mental health care providers residing within Lafayette County is less than twenty which does not come close to supporting the needs of the community. Many of these mental health providers are employed outside of the county and are therefore not available to provide services for local residence. This situation has left a gap of needed services. As a consequence to this gap school counselors report they are faced with counseling situations for which they are ill prepared for leaving many children receiving little to no support.

    Brighter Futures has established agreements with over twenty-six appropriate licensed professional including licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, psychologists, registered play therapists, behavioral intervention specialist, and certified substance abuse counselors.

    The Consortium promotes healthy lifestyles among children and youth to support and strengthen families throughout Lafayette County. Brighter Futures continually moves toward a coordinated community response system that balances mental heath promotion, prevention, early detection and universal access accomplishing strong families and a strong community.

  • History:
  • Educational professionals are becoming increasingly aware of the high level of mental health needs to children. In response to this need, the six public school district of Lafayette County began searching for assistance. The search began in 2003 through discussion with the Lafayette County Mental Health Board regarding the need for community wide education, the people of Lafayette County passed a mental health sales tax specific to children in November of 2005. This mental health sales tax created the Children's Services Fund. The following school year, the superintendents of the six public schools formed the Brighter Futures Consortium and began to meet to identify needs within their districts. The personnel in six public school districts were sent a survey via internet to further assess district needs and gaps in service. Through this collaborative effort and on-going communication withe Children's Services Board, the Brighter Futures Consortium received funding in July 2007.

    This initiative of the six public school districts of Lafayette include Concordia R-11, Lafayette County C-1, Lexington R-V, Odessa R-Vii, Santa Fe R-X, Wellington-Napoleon R-IX schools. Together the districts account for over 5,500 student and over 570 professional educators. The six school district have a long history of working together for benefit the educational needs of the students of Lafayette County, with superintendents, principals, counselors and directors of special education meeting routinely to discuss educational issues within the country. Outside of the school environment, school personnel collaborate with community agencies such as the Children's Division and the Lafayette County Juvenile Office on a monthly basis to better serve students needs.

    The primary mission of the public schools is to provide educational opportunities for all students. The goal of the Lafayette County Brighter Futures Consortium is to develop and implement methods of preventing and reducing mental health issues among youth ages 0-19, during the regular school day. Brighter Futures currently provides mental health services to students in a familiar school setting and therefore eliminates the multiple obstacles and barriers that currently cause many students to not receive the help they need.

    In most child-centered treatment, parents are involved as an adjunct to the child's treatment. Because families operate as systems, with each person's behavior influencing how others behave, it was necessary to treat the family as a whole for effective change. The Consortium realizing it could more effectively serve and impact the lives of students throughout Lafayette County, was awarded money from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City in July 2008 to add a family component, however this money was unfortunate was not renewed.

    For more detailed information please visit our website at www.brighterfutures.us

  • Year established:2005
  • Endowment:Unknown

Staff

  • Executive / Trustee board size:8
  • Advisory board size:6
  • Staff size:2

Board and Executive Names

  • Board Members / Trustees:
  • County Team Board consist of one school district personnel, an executive board member and Brighter Futures staff.

  • Executive Director / President:
  • Six public school superintendent's and 2 board members.

Staff Names

  • Key Staff:
  • Betsy MacLaughlin, Brighter Futures LMSW
    Sherri Chandra, Coordinator

Registration

  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:
  • Tax ID: