PCS Monitors ASPEN Program for Youth in Jefferson County

News, Views

PCS has been selected to monitor the ASPEN (Access to Services Providing Essential Needs) program during off-hours for the Jefferson County Health Department and Jefferson County school districts. Recent years have seen a dramatic rise in the number of students needing mental health resources. In 2018 in particular, the number of youth suicides increased in the community.

The online ASPEN platform was established to allow students, with parental approval, to self-screen and assess their needs for services. Students log into the portal and complete a survey, and if their results indicate a need, school counselors and licensed counselors connect them to resources.

PCS will monitor the platform and respond to student alerts when school is closed, including overnight, on weekends, and during school breaks. If a student self-reports being at risk of suicide or homicide, a crisis counselor initiates services with a phone call to the family or guardian.

“We have had a successful presence in Jefferson County for some time,” said Lindsay Jeffries,
PCS Director of Clinical Services. “We are experts in this kind of work and are ready to help
Jefferson County students and their families reaching out for help in times of crisis.”

Current school districts under contract include Crystal City, DeSoto, Grandview, Hillsboro,
Jefferson R-VII, and Sunrise. Pending school districts as of November 2022 are Dunklin,
Festus, St. Louis MAP School, and Farmington.