Restoring Happiness and an Interest in School

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Restoring Happiness and an Interest in School

Mia achieved her goal of missing only five days of school last semester.

It was a milestone enthusiastically celebrated by the eighth grader’s mom, teachers and Washburn therapist. The previous semester, Mia attended just 15 days of school.

Like many other students experience, Mia’s untreated mental health issues became a significant barrier to learning. Severe depression was at the root of her truancy.

“She was so withdrawn she hadn’t turned in a class assignment in weeks,” explained Cindy Markison, a therapist in Washburn’s School Based program, which serves 18 schools in the Minneapolis, Eden Prairie and Bloomington school districts.

Markison collaborated with school staff and Mia’s parents to help her verbalize feelings and get back on track academically.

The therapeutic intervention not only gave Mia her voice — it prevented her from becoming a statistic: the dropout rate for students with severe emotional and behavioral needs is approximately twice that of other students.

Instead, Mia, and her newfound confidence, is looking forward to high school next year.