Clinic in Jennings School District offering 'safe haven' for stu - KMOV.com

Clinic in Jennings School District offering 'safe haven' for students

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JENNINGS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

A two-year-old school program is providing a safe haven for students in the Jennings School District. 

The Spot Clinic is allowing all middle and high school students an opportunity to speak about what's on their mind. To ensure trust with students, all conversations had with the Spot Clinic never leave the room. 

District leaders said it shows students that no matter what they're going through there's someone available to talk things over.

Dr. Art McCoy, the district superintendent, said many students live busy lives consisting of school, work, and helping their families. 

"You'll be surprised that children are carrying so much on their shoulders. They are actually living adult lives in younger bodies," Dr. McCoy said.

The Spot Clinic was introduced to the district through Washington University in 2015. The idea for the program was to create an environment that encourages students to stay in school, all while supporting positive opportunities for teens.

Students who visit the clinic are screened for depression, substance use, even symptoms of trauma.

Jennings High School junior Taj Robinson  used the clinic to talk about things he sometimes can’t talk about with this parents. He said that he's seen what can happen to students when certain issues are ignored.

"Grades are lot less important than saving somebody's life or keeping them from having a catastrophe," Robinson said.

Robinson said some students have parents who don't want the students opening up to others. 

"Then they (the students) end up gone in three months, and you're like, 'this could have been prevented if we had some way to help them more'," Robinson said. 

The district is introducing a similar program for its elementary school students.

This one will provide free counseling, dental, vision, and medical care to all its 1,500 students.

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