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Washburn Center steps in to deliver mental health services in Burnsville-Savage-Eagan K-12 schools

Amid soaring rates of youth depression, anxiety, and suicide, schools serve as a critical access point for kids and families.


MINNEAPOLIS, July 24, 2023 
– Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District (191) is the latest to partner with Washburn Center for Children to serve its students and staff. Teachers and schools have been a vital safety net for children’s mental health and have become even more so as kids return from pandemic isolation, navigating an intensifying crisis that jeopardizes their wellbeing.

“Our community’s children and teens are in deep emotional crisis. Schools are one of the critical points for us to improve access to care, help identify risks and treatment options while partnering with families and educators to meet kids wherever they are,” says Washburn Center Chief Executive Officer, Craig Warren. “We are eager to step into District 191 with a strong administrative and academic commitment to meeting the increased need for mental health support for students.”

“One91 is excited to partner with Washburn Center for Children as our co-located mental health services provider,” says Amy Piotrowski, director of student support services for District 191. “One91 is committed to increasing access to mental health services, so students are ready to learn. We strongly believe Washburn aligns with the needs of the community and will have the capacity to support our students and families through co-located mental health services.”

“The expansion of Washburn’s school-based program has been consistent in the last several years — this year is no exception as we are expanding to all schools in District 191 which serves Burnsville, Eagan and Savage students,” Warren adds. This new contract means Washburn Center’s school-based mental health team will grow to more than 55 and serve students and staff in more than 50 schools across four districts and several specialty settings.

Schools have become more intense than ever. In the last few years, faculty has reported a meteoric rise in children needing mental health services. As one of the largest providers of direct school-based mental health services, Washburn Center partners with teachers, administrators and parents to help kids thrive academically, developmentally and socially.

The Kaiser Family Foundation reported in its research that the delivery of mental health services in schools improves access to care, allows for early identification and treatment of mental health issues, and may be linked to reduced absenteeism and better mental health outcomes. School-based services can also reduce access barriers for underserved populations, including children from low-income households and children of color.