Happy School-Based Health Center (aka Teen Health Center) Awareness Month!

Happy School-Based Health Center (aka Teen Health Center) Awareness Month!

Never heard of a school-based health center?

Here are five things you should know:
1. School based health centers are not the same as the school nurse’s office.
Each school-based health center is a fully licensed primary care facility, staffed by teams of professionals specializing in child and adolescent health. They offer services including therapy, psychopharmacology, diagnosis and treatment of minor illnesses and injuries, management of chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma, and sexual health care.

2. Health care plays a big role in schools.
Being a young person can be stressful. Many young people deal with stressors including poverty, bullying, discrimination, anxiety, family financial stress, social media pressures, trauma, and unsafe neighborhoods. These stressors can lead to health issues that impact students’ school performance. SBHC staff help students learn resilience and coping skills and allow them to develop relationships with trusted adults.

3. Having health care services in schools keeps students in class.
With a health center located in their school, students can get the medical care and mental health therapy they need without leaving school and missing valuable class time. Studies have also shown that adolescents who use SBHCs for medical care have significantly increased attendance compared to students who don’t use them. In addition, students who used SBHCs for mental health services had increased grade point averages compared to those who didn’t.

4. School-based health centers support parents and caregivers too.
Since many young people can’t get around by themselves, being able to get health care in schools also makes a big difference for their parents/caregivers. One caregiver whose son goes to his school’s SBHC said, “If it were not for this center, I would have to pick him up and go to the emergency room each time, and without transportation. My son can attend more school because there is available care.”

5. School-based health centers provide care to students regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.
Many SBHCs partially rely on grant funding to help support their operations, particularly since they aren’t always paid for the care they deliver. Just as a medical provider's office would, SBHCs also support themselves by billing students’ insurance, they don’t turn away anyone who can’t afford to pay. Parents/caregivers must give permission for their children to receive primary care from the health centers, but once they do, payment isn’t a barrier.

Please call us at the Teen Health Center with any questions and/or to schedule an appointment! We are here for you. 617-665-1548
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