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Innovative Care Coordination Project

Deb O'Brien-Thibodeau, BSN, RN
Certified Reiki Master/Teacher

The Innovative Care Coordination Project (ICCP) is a Department of Public Health grant awarded to selected nursing departments across Massachusetts. The goal of this project in Worcester Public Schools is to provide quality nursing care of students with behavioral/emotional chronic conditions in the school setting to improve their school attendance, enhance school connectedness, and support readiness to learn.

The objectives of the ICCP are to:

  1. Identify students with depression, anxiety, and signs of increased stress.
  2. Empower students with the ability and skills to self-manage emotional regulation.
  3. Provide nursing and other school personnel with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to support individual student outcomes.

Just like adults, children of all ages can experience depression, anxiety, and stress. This may be from chronic conditions, family issues, school, peers, homework, any changes, or other situations.

Caregivers, health personnel, and educators may observe a child complaining of stomach aches, headaches, asking to stay home from school, or asking to go to the school nurse frequently (when they have been diagnosed as healthy by their doctor). Children may also have behavioral or emotional responses like worrying or crying excessively. The child’s doctor should be notified by the parent or guardian if you have any physical or emotional concerns about the child, or activate emergency response systems in the event of an emergency or mental health crisis.

Children can be taught many strategies at home or in school to help them handle stress. However, there is no substitute for the benefits of daily exercise, a healthy diet, and adequate sleep to provide optimum health for anyone.