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School-Based Mental Health Programs

Wilder Community Mental Health and Wellness offers school-based mental health services for students and families in some of Minnesota's schools in the Twin Cities.
Helping students and their families grow and heal with mental health services and programs in schools

We offer mental and behavioral health services through our school-based mental health programs and services available in some Saint Paul Public Schools, making it easier for students to get the help they need to succeed in school and at home. Your child will miss fewer classes because they won’t need to travel for appointments. They also will be more comfortable in a familiar setting. Our staff work closely with school teachers, counselors and administrators, building positive relationships among students and families. 

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Schools are a natural setting, where the kids already are.

Knowing firsthand what my students are experiencing helps me as a therapist. I don't know how I could do therapy without knowing how it feels in their world.

Wilder School-Based Mental Health Therapist

Why #SupportMentalWellness in Schools for Youth: 
10 Reasons Schools Should Have Youth Mental Health Services On-Site

Kofi: Mental Health Program for Black & African American Youth

Our Kofi services are available to African American youth and their families. Through a partnership with Saint Paul Public Schools, Kofi students receive services that encourages them to find strength in their cultural heritage.

Kofi students build positive self-worth through their cultural identity. As they grow more confident, they are more likely to attend school regularly, do better academically and display fewer disruptive behaviors. 

Kofi is offered at these Saint Paul schools:

  • Battle Creek Middle School
  • Benjamin E. Mays IB World School 
  • Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented Magnet
  • Central High School
  • Crossroads Elementary Science and Montessori Schools
  • Global Arts Plus Upper Campus
  • High School for the Recording Arts 
  • Humboldt Middle and Senior High School
  • Maxfield Elementary School
  • Minnesota Math and Science Academy
  • Obama Elementary School
  • Ramsey Middle School

Call 651-325-2766 for more information about Kofi.

Wilder Community Mental Health and Wellness offers children's mental health services in schools for students and families.

Bringing on a mental health professional in school can help destigmatize mental health. 

A 13-year-old girl told me she always thought that therapy meant ‘special ed.’ I told her: I’m just here to support you. I’m a person who can hear your story and allow you to be seen. We all need good mental health supports. The school is filled with people who care about us in different ways. Nothing is wrong with you.

Wilder School-Based Mental Health Therapist

Why #SupportMentalWellness in Schools for Youth:
10 Reasons Schools Should Have Youth Mental Health Services On-Site

Hlub Zoo: Mental Health Program for Southeast Asian Youth

Wilder Community Mental Health and Wellness offers culturally-relevant school-based mental health services for Hmong students and their families in schools in Saint Paul, Minnesota and Twin Cities.

Hlub Zoo (pronounced LOO-ZHONG, dual-meaning of love well, grow well in Hmong) is for Southeast Asian students and their families. Students learn to embrace and celebrate their Hmong identity. They are supported as they achieve academic success and learn how to build healthy personal relationships.

Hlub Zoo is available to Hmong and Karen students and their families at these Saint Paul schools: 

  • Community School for Excellence
  • Harding Senior High School
  • Hmong College Prep Academy
  • Jackson Elementary School
  • Mississippi Elementary School
  • Phalen Lake Elementary School

Call 651-325-2766 for more information about Hlub Zoo.

Families will have direct, convenient access.

I have a student whose family is experiencing homelessness. The student has been living in a shelter. My student often misses the van to take him to school, and I have sometimes provided transportation for my student. I’ve also met with the family at the shelter and at their cousin's home. By developing strong, authentic relationships, parents may feel more connected and interested in healing themselves, too.

Wilder School-Based Mental Health Therapist

Why #SupportMentalWellness in Schools for Youth:
10 Reasons Schools Should Have Youth Mental Health Services On-Site

Rajada Cafimaad: Mental Health Program for Somali Youth

Rajada Cafimaad (pronounced RA-ja-da aaf-MAAD) translates to “healthy hope” and supports Somali students and families in the community. Youth gain insight and wisdom in moving past barriers at school and in the community by learning how to manage healthy relationships, healthy expression of emotions, and life stressors. Students and their families have access to culturally competent services with a licensed Somali-American mental health professional with experience balancing more than one cultures while striving for success in the community of Saint Paul.

Parents and guardians participate at least once a month in our Rajada Cafimaad program will explore new ways to enhance family bonds and improve family communications. Mental health services available through Rajada Cafimaad are billed to each child’s health insurance for individual and family therapy sessions. We work with each family to determine insurance coverage and also offer a sliding fee scale.

Rajada Cafimaad is available to Somali students and their families at the following school:

  • Minnesota Math and Science Academy

Call 651-325-2766 for more information about Rajada Cafimaad.

Teachers will gain tools and techniques to promote emotional support and well-being.

With a therapist, a teacher may learn that a child's behavior may have changed. With that knowledge, a teacher might say, "I understand there's stuff they can't do right now. Can you help me identify what they CAN do?"

Wilder School-Based Mental Health Therapist

Why #SupportMentalWellness in Schools for Youth:
10 Reasons Schools Should Have Youth Mental Health Services On-Site

Sembrando: Mental Health Program for Latinx Youth

Sembrando (meaning to plant or sow) is for students and families of Latinx descent. Students grow and find strength in their culture as a community. They are also supported as they continue to achieve academic success while learning how to build healthy personal relationships in school and at home.

Sembrando is available to Latinx students and their families at this Saint Paul school: 

  • Wellstone Elementary School

Call 651-325-2766 for more information about Sembrando.

Mother kneeling next to young son with her arm around his shoulder

It can help families navigate the mental health system.

Sometimes students and families have been hesitant about receiving mental health services due to their misunderstanding about having a diagnosis, or having their own stigma about mental health. Sharing the same cultural background ensures an accurate understanding and translation to provide culturally responsive approaches that bridges the gap between suffering and healing.

Wilder School-Based Mental Health Therapist

Why #SupportMentalWellness in Schools for Youth:
10 Reasons Schools Should Have Youth Mental Health Services On-Site

Access to Mental Health in Schools for All Youth

School children wearing backpacks stand outside a bus

Wilder therapists and counselors work with students of all cultural backgrounds in several Saint Paul schools. If your child is having social, emotional, behavioral or family problems, contact us at 651-325-2766.

All students and families have access to Wilder's school-based mental health services at the following schools:

  • Cherokee Heights Elementary School
  • Dayton's Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary School
  • John A. Johnson Achievement Plus Elementary Shool
  • Riverview West Side School of Excellence
  • Saint Paul Music Academy
  • Washington Technology Magnet School

Meet Our School-Based Mental Health Team

We have been partnering with educators to provide mental health and wellness services through school-based programs for 30 years!

Click the image to learn more about who we are and why we support mental wellness.

Read Courageous Stories and Insights about Mental Health in Schools

Michael Brooks, a school-based therapist for Wilder, outside his office at Ramsey Middle School

Wilder School-Based Mental Health Expands Beyond Elementary Schools in Saint Paul

Michael Brooks thinks every school would benefit from an on-site mental health professional. “Every school, nationwide,” says Michael, a school-based therapist with Wilder Community Mental Health and Wellness. “You cannot ignore the fact...More about this story »

Mary Her, a therapist with Hlub Zoo school-based mental health program at Wilder

School-Based Mental Health Participant Finds Hope and Healing With Persistence and Support

Emily was a smart and outgoing elementary school student. She was so high achieving that her teacher was initially reluctant to refer her to Hlub Zoo (pronounced LOO-ZHONG), Wilder’s school-based mental health service for students o...More about this story »

Wilder school based mental health, Latinx students

Wilder School-Based Therapists Support Latinx Mental Health Through Stronger Cultural Identities

Maria Rios knows from personal experience how a strong cultural identity can help foster a sense of belonging. Maria, a Wilder school-based mental health therapist, moved to the United States from Mexico at age 7 and attended school in W...More about this story »

Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment Logo and Minnesota State Arts Board logo

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant to the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a special legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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