Cohoes City School District


Cohoes City School District partners with Northern Rivers to open school-based behavioral health clinic

Fee-for-service licensed clinician will provide counseling to students and families

September 8, 2017—Today in the U.S., one in five adolescents face behavioral health disorders. Statistically, in Cohoes, that’s about 200 students across the middle and high schools. To effectively support our students with these challenges, the district has partnered with Northern Rivers to open a clinic in Cohoes Middle School.

“The statistics are clear—there is a critical role for us as educators to address the myriad of health issues facing our students,” said Superintendent Jennifer Spring, Ed.D. “We’re taking a true community schools approach and bringing the services into school, making it more convenient for our families.”

Who is the clinic for?

The clinic is for any student K-12 in need of behavioral health counseling. Students must be referred by their doctor, and the clinic accepts insurance and medicare. A clinical psychologist licensed by the New York State Office of Mental Health will be available to see students during and after the school day, during school vacations and over the summer. Please call 518-431-1650 to speak with an intake specialist.

What are “behavioral health disorders”?

Some examples of behavioral health disorders are: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, mood disorders, addiction, problems with controlling impulses, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), personality disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, and thoughts of suicide, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD).

How do I sign my child up to see the counselor?

First, talk to your child’s doctor and ask for a referral. If you’re having trouble or don’t know where to start, please reach out to your child’s school social worker. Please call 518-431-1650 to speak with an intake specialist.

Evelyn Smith at Abram Lansing -
Kristie Calderon at Van Schaick - 
Raychel Marcil at Harmony Hill -
Elaine Flatow at Cohoes Middle School -
Becky Leach at Cohoes High School

Why is the clinic at Cohoes Middle School?

Research proves that students with access to behavioral health services in school-based health centers are 10 times more likely to seek care for mental health or substance abuse than those who do not.

The middle school provides a central location for students and their families within Cohoes to access supports much more easily than traveling to Troy or Albany, preventing them from missing more school time.

Shifting to trauma-sensitive learning environment

The Cohoes City School District has spent the last two years transforming into a trauma-sensitive district where administrators, teachers and support staff are trained on how to form connections with students and create an environment that helps them feel safe and able to learn. Students from all socioeconomic backgrounds can experience traumatic events. These experiences can negatively impact a child’s development--from forming positive relationships to being able to learn and succeed academically. More information on trauma-sensitive learning environments can be found here:


More national statistics on behavioral health disorders:

  • Of all students ages 14+ with mental health conditions, nearly 40 percent drop out of school.

  • According to a 2016 report from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the suicide rate for kids ages 13-18 doubled between 2007 and 2014.

  • 70.4% of youth involved in the juvenile justice system meet criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis, and 68% of state prison inmates have not completed high school.

  • One of the most important components of early intervention for behavioral and emotional health concerns is early identification. School is the ideal place for this. Learn more here: