“Christian saw his therapist weekly for several weeks, and today he’s not crying in school anymore,” says Donna Jean, adding: “This has been a great help to the both of us.”
The number of school-based health centers has grown throughout the United States over the past few decades. At last count there were more than 2,500 of them, serving more than six million students in roughly 10,000 schools, in 48 states and Washington, D.C. We manage eight of these clinics in Delaware, in addition to the one that served Christian. And we intend to expand this program, which meets so many clear public needs.
The centers offer services from flu shots and physicals to behavioral therapy. Although they’re not meant to replace a child’s primary care doctor, they may often be the only care children receive. And their benefits are striking.
Researchers have found that students at schools with such health centers tend to have lower dropout rates, fewer absences, and higher scores on academic tests. The centers also help to reduce health care costs, curbing visits to emergency rooms.