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Allentown School District Leads the Way - Expanding Access to Mental Healthcare for Students Across Pennsylvania

Allentown School District Leads the Way - Expanding Access to Mental Healthcare for Students Across Pennsylvania
Joe Lyons
Allentown School District logo and Hazel Health Logo

ALLENTOWN, PA — In a first-of-its-kind program in Pennsylvania, the Allentown School District launched a partnership with Hazel Health that expands access to mental healthcare services to all 16,700 District students. This partnership provides students the ability to work 1:1 with a licensed therapist, at no cost to their families, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay, now and throughout the summer.

The Allentown School District is now the first district in Pennsylvania to partner with Hazel Health to augment its in-person counseling programs with virtual therapy services. 

“The benefits of on-demand mental health resources through Hazel Health supports the Allentown School District’s ongoing commitment to increasing students' mental health services and bolstering their affective developmental skill sets,” said Dr. Carol D. Birks, Allentown School District’s Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer. “With this partnership, we can continue to ensure students feel a sense of belonging and the District is creating the conditions where they feel safe, valued, empowered, and loved.”

Hazel Health removes barriers like out-of-pocket costs, a lack of providers who speak Spanish or languages other than English, appointment availability, and transportation. With family or guardian consent, the partnership enables students to participate in weekly therapy sessions with one of Hazel Health’s on-staff, multilingual providers.

While the program length can vary based on each student’s unique need, every student receives the same high-quality, personalized, evidence-based care. Starting now and throughout the summer, students can receive therapy sessions at home. The service will also be available at school when students return to class on August 26, 2024.

Hazel Health is the nation’s largest student-centered telehealth provider, providing access to care to nearly four million students. Nearly 75 percent of students participating in Hazel’s therapy program see clinically significant symptom improvement.

“It’s energizing to work with innovative leaders like Dr. Birks who go all in when it comes to what they know to be best for students,” said Andrew Post, Chief Innovation Officer at Hazel Health. “Allentown School District has opened the door in Pennsylvania, allowing Hazel Health to support more students across the state as we continue to scale to meet the unprecedented need for youth mental health services.”

To learn more about the service, families should visit https://my.hazel.co/allentownsd.