United Way of Williamson County, Mercy team up in Fairview schools

December 1, 2015


United Way of Williamson County (UWWC) and Mercy Community Healthcare are teaming up to ensure students Mercy Community Healthcarethroughout Fairview have access to behavioral health services.

Beginning immediately, Mercy Community Healthcare will staff therapists year-round in Fairview schools, with one therapist in Fairview High School, one in Fairview Middle School and one therapist shared between the two elementary schools.

Therapists will offer two parent/teacher trainings each year on topics ranging from successful homework completion to Internet safety to managing difficult behavior. Therapists will also treat individual students struggling with anxiety or depression, authority issues, anger management issues and ADHD.

The program is a direct response to a community needs assessment conducted in 2014 by Middle Tennessee State University for UWWC. The assessment was done in collaboration with Williamson County government and the City of Franklin. Volunteers reviewed results from the assessment and made recommendations to address gaps in services.

A critical need identified was for behavioral and emotional counseling for youth, particularly in more rural areas of the county.

“Providing opportunities to improve children’s lives is exactly what United Way works to accomplish,” said Pam Bryant, UWWC President and CEO. “Bringing these services to students aligns with our focus on Education, Income and Health – the foundation which effects academic performance, future stability and ongoing health.”

According to Bryant, Mercy Community Healthcare was a natural choice to partner in providing these services. Mercy’s Behavioral Health School Services Program, which will oversee the Fairview program, has already provided counseling services in New Hope Academy and Williamson County’s Winstead School. The Fairview program, however, will be unique in that the schools will be established as permanent service sites.

“One in five children in Tennessee will be diagnosed with a mental disorder,” said Jonathan Boye, Chief Behavioral Health Officer for Mercy Community Healthcare. “Many of these children are at a disadvantage because of poor access to care. These youth are faced with a lack of available funds. Mercy Community Healthcare is happy to join forces with Williamson County School District and United Way to provide mental health services to Fairview schools. With this partnership, Mercy Community Healthcare will be positioned to help students to realize greater academic achievement, enhanced student and staff wellbeing, and improved school climate and culture.”

Currently, a therapist from The Guidance Center rotates among all four Fairview schools. By adding these three therapists, more students can be served.

“The opportunities to have school-based counseling opportunities at this extensive level in our schools will benefit students, families and our community as a whole,” said Fairview High School Principal Dr. Juli Oyer. “We believe this has the potential to create trajectory-changing experiences for our students, offering them access to success like never before. We appreciate the work of United Way and Mercy and are thankful for the work that has gone into this to make it happen.”

“Mercy Community Healthcare is excited about providing these much-needed services to the children in Fairview,” said Margaret Owens, Mercy Community Healthcare interim CEO. “We are thrilled to be chosen by United Way of Williamson County and look forward to a long relationship of serving these children.”

About Mercy Community Healthcare
Mercy Health Services, Inc. (DBA Mercy Community Healthcare) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Franklin, TN with a team of more than 80 full and part–time staff, including ten physicians – all of whom are Board Certified. Mercy’s patients come from more than 30 counties in Tennessee. Mercy Community Healthcare is known for its comprehensive, compassionate treatment and is committed to improving the physical, mental, and spiritual health of both its patients and the community. No one is too old, too young, too rich, or too poor to receive care from Mercy’s experienced medical team, and most importantly, no one is turned away because of their inability to pay. To find out more, please visit mercycommunityhealthcare.org.

About United Way of Williamson County
United Way of Williamson County is committed to creating real change and measurable improvements in the day-to-day lives of people. We and more than 30 partner nonprofit organizations focus on education, financial stability, good health and rebuilding lives – the key building blocks for creating a better life. Serving the Williamson County community since 1961, United Way of Williamson County works to inspire acts of caring, deliver hope and improve lives. When we work together to advance the common good, we LIVE UNITED. To find out more, please visit www.uwwc.org or call the office at 615-771-2312.