Supporting students’ mental health

LAEF donates $25,000 to support mental health counseling in LAUSD

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Pictured from left to right: Superintendent Dr. Sherry Kropp, Assistant Superintendent-HR Dr. Andrew Pulver, Counselor Christina Park, Counselor Dr. Kirsten Jensen, Assistant Superintendent-Business Services Dr. Nancy Nien, Director Dr. Heidi Olshan, Assistant Superintendent-Ed Services Ondrea Reed and LAEF Executive Director Carrie Logue.

LAEF’s Board of Directors provided a donation of $25,000 to support the salaries of the expanded Los Alamitos Unified School District’s mental health department. The same donation was made last August, so $50,000 has been donated over the past two school years.

The Los Alamitos Education Foundation (LAEF) is the trusted partner of the school district, and these donations are another example of LAEF providing significant funding in a critical area that have a positive impact for all students. The donations are largely due to the community’s support of LAEF’s King & Queen of Hearts campaign, which takes place each year from December to February.

According to Orange County’s annual report on the Conditions of Children, since 2008, serious mental illness among children and teens has led to a 47 percent increase in the rate of hospitalization. Furthermore, major depression and mood disorders accounted for 64 percent of all such hospitalizations. In an effort to proactively address this need, Los Alamitos USD has hired additional mental health counselors to provide emotional support to our students. LAEF (Los Alamitos Education Foundation) has stepped up to make sure the students of Los Al USD continue to have the support they need, and the funds required to bring counselors to the schools.

Los Alamitos Unified’s mental health support team includes Director of Special Education and Mental Health Dr. Heidi Olshan, Special Education and Mental Health Coordinator Grace Delk, two full-time counselors, Dr. Kirsten Jensen and Christina Park, LCSW, and one part-time counselor, Stacy Eatmon, LCSW. The team is supervised by Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Mrs. Ondrea Reed and Superintendent Dr. Sherry Kropp. LAEF Executive Director Carrie Logue presented the check to Dr. Kropp on Aug. 6.

LAEF is the non-profit partner of Los Alamitos Unified School District. LAEF enhances educational excellence by providing after-school and summer enrichment programs to children in grades Pre-K to 12. LAEF impacts all students by providing significant funding for STEAM teachers and instruction, as well as igniting new programs and providing valuable resources. For more information, call 562-799-4700 ext. 80424 or email info@LAEF4kids.org.

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