School Linked Mental Health- 5-12

Ashley McKittrick, MSW, TLGSW
School-linked Mental Health Therapist

I graduated with my Master’s degree in Social Work from Winona State University, and I’m a temporary licensed graduate social worker (TLGSW). Before working at ZVHC, I worked at The John E. Herman Home & Treatment Facility with Mayo Clinic. I have 2 kids who each have a horse, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 1 bunny. In my home, we celebrate Taco Tuesday every week!

I can provide services like diagnostic assessments, financial/insurance coordination, individual and family therapy, and more. School linked mental health is a partnership between the school and local mental health clinic, so that services can be provided in the school rather than having to travel and take time away from work or school. If you have questions about school linked mental health, please feel free to contact me, the school social worker, or school counselor.

Office: (507) 356-8326 Extension: 3054

Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

School-linked mental health services are offered year round. The following is my schedule at the beginning of the school year, but can always be adjusted to make accommodations:
Mondays: 8am-4pm
Tuesdays: 8am-6:30pm
Wednesdays: 8am-4pm
Thursdays: 8am-4:30pm
Fridays: 8am-1pm
I am primarily located at the middle/high school, Room #107.

Getting Started

There are multiple ways you can get started with services. You can reach out to me directly, talk with your school social worker, talk with your school counselor, or contact Zumbro Valley Health Center. 

You may find forms to fill out on Zumbro Valley Health Center's website such as the following:

- Parent/Guardian Consent Form

- Demographic/Financial Information

- School-Linked Mental Health Form

- School Consent to Release Private Data

- Release of Information

- Grievance, Privacy, Rights & Responsibilities

What is School Linked Mental Health (SLMH)?

- A partnership between the schools and Zumbro Valley Health Center
- Mental Health Professionals are co-located within the school
- Reduces barriers to mental health services for busy families, so that kids miss less school
- Provides support and education for teachers and families
- Supports the mission of schools by ensuring all kids are ready to learn, and are set up for success in life


Mentally healthy children are more successful in school and life. Research endorses that students who receive social-emotional and mental health support achieve better academically. School climate, classroom behavior, on-task learning, and students’ sense of connectedness and well-being all improve.

Research suggests there are a growing and unmet need for mental health services for children and youth. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, one in five children and adolescents experience a mental health problem during their school years. Examples include stress, anxiety, bullying, family problems, depression, a learning disability, and alcohol and substance abuse. Unfortunately, estimates of up to 60% of students do not receive the treatment they need due to stigma and lack of access to services.

Schools are an ideal place to provide mental health services to children and youth. Schools offer an ideal context for prevention, intervention, positive development, and regular communication between school and families. School-linked mental health professionals contribute to the accessibility of services within that community. In fact, research has shown that students are more likely to seek services in schools.

School mental health services support the mission and purpose of schools: learning. Increased access to mental health services and supports in schools is vital to improving the physical and psychological safety of our children, as well as academic performance and problem-solving skills.