Edmond Public Schools Offering 24/7 Help Hotline

Wednesday, April 16th 2014, 6:24 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

We are right in the middle of all the mandatory state testing and that coupled with other end-of-year stresses can take a toll mentally and emotionally on students.  

But in Edmond they have a 24-hour hotline to help you deal not only with testing stress, but whatever other emotional problems you could be experiencing.

"Throws fits, gets real cranky, stomach aches," that's how Melissa Wilkens describes her third graders reaction to this year's state tests. "They started testing yesterday and yesterday morning was a very tough morning before school. Lots of tears, lots of tummy hurting."

Test stress is one big reason why this is a particularly difficult emotional time for students.

"With 27 days left of school we have a lot of things parents and students are focused on," says Susan Parks-Schlepp, Director of Public Information for Edmond Schools.

But Edmond Schools, partnering with Mercy Hospital, say they have something to help.

"We're a call line that they can call 24 hours a day and there's a counselor that can answer their questions," says Shelly Whiting, a Behavioral Health Advisor with Mercy Hospital.

And not just test stress, but a wide range of social and emotional issues, even crisis situations.

"Depression, anxiety, unhealthy eating, substance use, lack of insurance, even financial stress," said Whiting.

After piloting the program it's now in its first year. Calls come to the center from all age groups from elementary to high school, to even parents.

"That's the beauty of this, it's really for anything," said Parks-Schlepp.  "Sometimes we have families that will call for more than one issue."

The program is called "Call SAM" the number is 1 (855) 225-2SAM. Right now the program is only in Edmond, but Mercy is looking on expanding it to other districts.