DCS planning an employee assistance program including mental health and other services

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Tuesday night, Dothan City Schools’ board members approved to move forward with a new Employee Assistance Program.

Officials say the program will offer mental health counseling for DCS employees.

“This is one of the first programs in the area,” Dothan City Schools Director of Human Resources Patrick Mallory said. “One of the only ones that I’m aware of with the school district, but we’ll be partnering with Spectracare which does some of our counseling already.”

Mental health isn’t the only service provided through the program. It will also include a half-hour consultation with an attorney for legal services, a half-hour consultation for financial services such as college planning.

“We’re going to bring some professional development opportunities based on supervisory interactions for our supervisory staff and then also just some professional development for our teachers and our remaining staff,” Dothan City Schools Mental Health Coordinator Andrea Zavitz said.

The program will also provide a 24/7 crisis number to call for employees.

“If they have a question, or you know, within a reasonable time frame, to get a callback and it be specifically for Dothan City School employees,” Zavitz said. “It’s going to be very tailored to our employees.”

The program will also extend beyond employees as officials say it will also help families.

“Immediate family members at home, spouses, and kids up to 23,” Mallory said. “During COVID it’s been extremely tough so this is a good benefit that we want to offer to the employees.”

Currently, there is no official start date, but DCS leaders say they want to get it started as soon as possible. WDHN will update this story once the program begins.

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