Students and teachers won’t be the only ones going back to school this month.
Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center’s WRAP therapists and case managers will also return to Douglas County schools.
Last year, WRAP celebrated its 25th anniversary. Also in 2022, WRAP, which is a Bert Nash Center therapeutic intervention program in the schools, more closely aligned its core values with the services it offers.
“WRAP is very intentionally therapeutic, goal-driven and skill-based,” said Annas Boyer, Bert Nash Center’s director of School Based Services. “WRAP allows therapists to come along kids in their natural environment and help them learn skills so students can stay in class.”
When the program was started in 1997, WRAP stood for Working to Recognize Alternative Possibilities. The acronym is the same, but the meaning has changed to Wellness, Resources, Access and Prevention, to represent what it is WRAP therapists provide in the schools, while honoring the history and important role the program has had in Douglas County schools.
All students who work with WRAP therapists are served as clients of the Bert Nash Center. Students are referred to the WRAP program through the mental health team at the school they attend.
“The shift is to a truly therapeutic, in-school offering,” Boyer said. “We’re more clearly defining our role as part of the school mental health team.”
WRAP services will be in 19 Douglas County schools in Lawrence, Baldwin City, Eudora, and Perry-Lecompton. In Lawrence, the WRAP team is divided following district boundary lines for the two high schools. Each team will be led by a program manager. The new program managers are Shelley Bointy and Grace MacMillan. They both have extensive experience as Bert Nash therapists working with students.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to support our WRAP therapists as we navigate the changes ahead,” Bointy said. “Our clinicians' dedication to the well-being of our students has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my professional career, and I am excited to be stepping into this role."
“I’ve have had the privilege of working directly with Bert Nash clients since 2017 through the DBT Program, as the therapist in the Secondary Therapeutic Classroom, and finally as a WRAP clinician in two of our elementary schools,” MacMillan said. “I’m excited to take what I’ve learned in these roles to support the WRAP therapists who serve children and adolescents in our community. I’m grateful to be standing on the foundation laid by those who came before me. WRAP has a long history at Bert Nash, and I’m excited to help create its future.”
Another new feature this year is that each WRAP team will include a case manager. The case managers will be specific to the WRAP program and will work year-round to maintain the consistency of services during the gap of the summer when students are out of school.