Pennsylvania has inked a $3 million contract that will bring new digital mental health services to school districts statewide.
Pennsylvania schools will now have access to Kooth, a digital mental health platform. Kooth’s services are “clinically robust and accredited to provide a range of therapeutic support and interventions,” according to a press release from State Rep. Aaron Kaufer. As part of the new contract, students will have access to three levels of care: self-directed, peer-to-peer, and a student-counselor connection. All levels will be accessible through a smartphone.
“Providing for student mental health was important pre-pandemic and is paramount as our students navigate school post-pandemic,” Kaufer said. “I am excited that the students in our areas’ school districts will have access to additional resources to address their mental health needs.”
Kooth will provide its platform to 30 school districts, encompassing 100,000 students, at no cost to the school districts. Initially, the contract will run for a year, with a pilot program beginning in November. If the pilot proves successful, the program could be expanded to additional school districts. The program is being offered to students in grades 6-12.
“At the end of the day, it’s about making sure the students in our communities get the services they need and deserve. I’m grateful that I was able to play a part in making this pilot initiative become a reality,” Kaufer concluded.
As part of expanding its platform into Pennsylvania, Kooth will be opening its first office in the United States in Pennsylvania. The company will have a local staff of roughly 20 people, including counselors, technology experts, community engagement specialists, and business development personnel.
Wyoming Valley West was one of those districts, and at its recent regular monthly meeting, a representative from Kooth gave a quick overview of the various levels of services it can provide students. Kooth will also be opening its first U.S. office within the district boundaries in Forty Fort, according to Kaufer’s release.