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R-H Expands Mental Health Efforts

Wednesday, September 14, 2022
Dear Royal Comet Family,

Rush-Henrietta’s commitment to mental health is stronger than ever. For the past three years, we have put an emphasis on enhancing the mental wellness of students and staff. In fact, Ginny Ryan of 13WHAM visited our district this week to share our progress with the community. You can watch her story here. In the meantime, I’m writing to let you know we are increasing our efforts this year.

Expanding Our K-6 Counseling in Partnership with URMC
Rush-Henrietta opened school-based mental health clinics for students at Crane and Sherman elementary schools last fall. Both are staffed with a University of Rochester Medical Center clinician one day a week to provide direct counseling services to students. This new service has surpassed our expectations in every way. That’s why Rush-Henrietta plans to open another clinic at Fyle Elementary School this fall. Parents will be notified once we receive final approval from the Monroe County Office of Mental Health.

Consultation Services Available for Grades K-6
Another key aspect of this special partnership is that URMC continues to offer consultation services at each of our K-6 buildings. This is helpful when an adult in one of these schools has a concern about a student and would like to consult with experts to determine the appropriate next steps for the student. This process will be done in consultation with the family.

Priority Access to URMC Programs for Grades 7-12
We also are expanding our mental health services for older students. Beginning this month, Rush-Henrietta students in grades 7-12 have priority access to two special URMC programs. The READY Program provides short-term, outpatient therapy focused on accomplishing a few goals in a defined number of sessions. The START program, known as Short-Term Assessment and Referral Team, is devoted to offering readily accessible interventions to help address stressors occurring within a family. Students must meet specific criteria to be eligible for these programs. Close collaboration between families and school staff will help ensure that eligible students are referred in a timely fashion.

Professional Development Workshops
Our partnership with URMC also includes targeted professional growth workshops to support adults in meeting the existing and emerging needs of students. These workshops are offered for both students and employees. Examples include past sessions about fostering resilience and trauma-responsive strategies for children and teens.

New Local Counseling Practice
On a separate note, Victor Counseling Practice has opened a second location on Jefferson Road in Henrietta. The reason we are sharing this information is because this practice is located conveniently within the school district and the staff is committed to seeing students within seven days. This is important because it often takes months for students to be seen by a mental health professional in our area. The agency offers fee-based counseling for anxiety, depression, grief, loss, trauma, and more for students of all ages. It accepts many forms of health insurance. To schedule a virtual or in-person appointment, visit or call 585-398-8835. 

If you have questions about any of the information shared in this E-News, please contact your school’s mental health staff, which can be found here. You also may reach out to the district’s Director of Wellness and Equity Dr. Diane Wynne at Thank you for your continued support.


Dr. Pamela Kissel 
Dr. Pamela Kissel
Interim Superintendent