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SKPS Gets Community Support With Mental Health And Behavior Supports

Colorful posters on the wall with "amazing work coming soon."

Salem-Keizer Public Schools is partnering with the community to address a significant gap in behavioral and mental health services for children and adolescents.

Major adolescent behavioral health concerns in SKPS are identical to trends identified throughout the state and across the nation; however, the local region severely lacks psychiatric treatment facilities that would address many behavioral and mental health needs for children and youth. 

Thanks to an immensely supportive community, our district will be opening a Children’s Day Education Center where children ages 5-17 with identified medical needs will receive behavioral and mental health care while they attend school, ensuring they do not lose access to education while receiving the support they need.

Community Impact And Investment

SKPS is partnering with locally-owned Mountain West Investment Corporation-Epping, LLC, to help establish sustainable and adequate behavioral and mental health services for school-aged children in the area. 

MWIC-Epping, LLC, which comprises both the Tokarski Family, LLC, and the Larry & Jeannette Epping Family foundation, is generously investing $2.5 million for the purchase and renovation of the 13,000 square foot school building located just north of Salem at 10327 River Road NE. MWIC-Epping, LLC, will lease the building to SKPS for the purpose of housing a Children’s Day Education Center. The school building is currently undergoing renovations with phase 1 renovations set to be complete in March.

Children’s Day Education Center Operations

The education center will have three classrooms, which will serve students at the elementary, middle and high school levels. All classrooms will be supported by licensed educators to provide instructional support. SKPS will contract with Trillium Family Services, Inc. who will operate the psychiatric day treatment program alongside our school staff. Trillium Family Services will determine student eligibility for the program based on medical needs. Referrals will be made by licensed mental health providers.

Students in the program will receive services and instruction for five to seven hours per day and will be offered individual therapy, family therapy and skills training. The program seeks to serve students for 30 days of treatment, with the goal of successfully supporting students in transitioning back to their neighborhood school and community.

The center will be available to any eligible child or adolescent 5-17 years of age, regardless of whether they attend school in our district. The site will be renovated to accommodate the new Children’s Day Education Center. Salem-Keizer leaders hope for the center to be up and running and supporting students as early as spring 2024.