SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – As students get ready to return to campus later this month, the East Side Union High School District is expanding access to mental health care providers for students, families and teachers.

On Thursday, the district announced a partnership with Care Solace — an organization that aims to makes mental health care coordination easier by offering a care concierge 24/7 and a customized online tool to connect with community-based mental health care, both in-person and remote.

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District leaders said this is especially important as people return back to in-person learning and recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

“We know the detrimental impact Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) have on student achievement. This pandemic has been a traumatic experience for all of our students to one degree or another,” said Pattie Cortese, ESUHSD Board of Trustees Member. “We need to provide them ways to process what they have experienced this past year.”

Cortese also emphasized the need for staff wellbeing so they could be fully present for students.

District leaders said the most notable aspect of Care Solace is the navigation system it uses to help connect students and staff to a database of behavioral and mental health resources to find “carefully vetted” therapists and programs within minutes.

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The database also includes resources for substance abuse treatment.

On top of that, the care concierge is available at any time, in any language to help all students and staff, regardless of insurance status.

“With Care Solace we shift from asking families, staff, and students to navigate the mental health system alone to providing support that allows us to walk side by side with them through the process,” said Dr. Chaun Powell, ESUHSD Director of Student Services.

Campuses will resume in-person instruction on April 12. The Care Solace services are already available at no cost to all East Side Union High School District students, staff and their families.

To learn more about the new program, visit https://home.caresolace.com/.

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