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Park Nicollet Foundation partners with Richfield School District to expand children’s mental health services

A bilingual therapist will be available by teleconference at no cost

June 6, 2016

ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. — A new program has expanded to the Richfield Health Resource Center, providing in-school mental health services to adolescents through secure video technology. No Obstacles to Wellbeing (NOW!) helps bypass barriers to mental health care related to transportation, finances and language. The initial roll-out happened earlier this month, with 14 students already identified for the program.

Through a partnership between Park Nicollet Foundation, Park Nicollet Health Services, Richfield School District and Cisco, NOW! is able to treat mild mental health conditions such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Parental chemical dependency
  • Difficulty learning to have high expectations of self
  • Abuse
  • Abandonment
  • ADHD
  • Grief support

“Minnesota ranks 48th in the nation in providing social services in schools,” said Christa Getchell, president of Park Nicollet Foundation. “Park Nicollet Foundation recognized that there was a gap in mental health services, and we developed NOW! as a direct response to community need. In partnering with school districts, we are aiming to fill in the gaps, and work together, to help students build healthy lives.”

The NOW! program is available at the Richfield Health Resource Center, which is located inside of Richfield High School. The Richfield Health Resource Center serves children and youth, from birth through high school graduation, who live in or go to school in Richfield at no cost. To better serve the Richfield population, the expanded program will also include a Spanish-speaking therapist.

“Adolescence is a time when mental health issues begin to surface for many children,” said Steven Unowsky, Richfield School District superintendent. “These mental health struggles can be debilitating and have an impact on their education and social development. NOW! allows us to provide a very high level of intervention for our students who might never have been given the care they need. With NOW!, we can keep them in-school and focused on their future.”

For more information on NOW! please visit

Park Nicollet Foundation

Park Nicollet Foundation is part of HealthPartners, the largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization in the nation with a mission to improve health and well-being in partnership with members, patients and the community. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and receives more than $5 million charitable contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations each year to improve the health and wellbeing of our patients, families, and community through partnerships and philanthropy. For more information, visit

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