Dear Students and Parents/Guardians,
Paoli Jr-Sr High School is excited to announce its collaboration with IU Health to offer
teletherapy services for students in grades 7-12. PHS is the second Orange County school to
offer this wonderful opportunity to students.
Behavioral health care is a critical challenge in Indiana, particularly in rural and medically
underserved areas. Indiana ranks 39th (worst) of the 50 states for the prevalence of mental
illness and 26th of the 50 states for access to care. Indiana is ranked 28th for the prevalence of
mental illness among youth (2021 Indiana Kids Count Data Book).
Teenagers today face challenges beyond typical hormonal changes including increased fear of
school safety issues, pressures of social media, and now COVID-19. 15.7% of Hoosier youth
(ages 12-17) reported suffering from at least one major depressive episode in the past year;
greater than the national percentage of 13.8% (2021 Indiana Kids Count Data Book). Suicide is
the second leading cause of Hoosiers ages 14-39 and average suicide rates are significantly
higher among 15-24 year-olds in Indiana. Access to support for navigating these issues from
trained professionals is abysmal in rural communities. Indiana has an average of 552:1 student
to counselor ratio and Orange County has a 1,950:1 population to Behavioral Health provider
The goal of this project is to provide accessible behavioral healthcare for teens (6-12) in rural
southern Indiana. This project is made by collaboration and funding from IU Health, Southern
Indiana Physicians Riley Pediatrics, CareSource, and the IU Health Foundation.
Services are billed through a student’s family insurance, however no student who qualifies will
be turned away. Rather than missing days of instruction, and parents taking off work to drive
their child to therapy, students will only miss up to 30 min per week, and parents can stay at
work. Students meet virtually with a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) from a private room
during the school day.
If a student or family is interested in more information about these services, please contact the
PHS Guidance Department at (812)723-3905.