Pathways Counseling Center - Putnam Sentinel

PUTNAM COUNTY — “This year, for the month of January, we served 82 individuals in the schools,” said Pathways Office Director Jean Swary during the most recent Alcohol, Drugs, and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board meeting held last Friday, Mar. 1. “Last year at this point, we served 33. So, there’s been a definite increase.”

The significant year over year rise, with nearly three times as many youth receiving services this most recent January as in the year prior, can be traced to a change in approach by Pathways. Instead of taking a very clinical approach to providing services through the schools, the agency is taking a more consultative approach from within area schools themselves.

As explained by Swary, “With the consultative approach, parents sign to allow their children to be seen at the schools. In previous years, we did more of a clinical approach…We had a lot more paperwork for the parents and they would have to come into the office more.”

“This approach, the children are seen at the school instead of at our office.”

“Just to comment on the school program,” added Jennifer Horstman, MSW Exec. Director of the ADAMHS Board a short while earlier. “I received an email with a very positive comment about [Pathway’s] services. One of the schools has seen such an increase in numbers that they want increased hours.”

Beginning with a single pilot program, Pathways started providing in-school services more than four years ago, as reported by the Sentinel last fall. Now, the agency offers services to Columbus Grove Schools, Continental Schools, Glandorf Elementary, Leipsic Schools, Miller City-New Cleveland Schools, Ottawa Elementary, Ottawa-Glandorf High School, Ottoville Schools, and Pandora Schools.

In 2017, Pathways provided in-school services to around 30 students. For 2018, Pathways had seen 47 students by the end of April. The program then switched to the current consultative approach in May of 2018. This resulted in 13 additional students receiving services for a total of 60 students for 2018.