Pennsbury High School is teaming up with professionals and outside organizations to help students suffering with mental health issues.

A grant from St. Mary Medical Center to the Family Service Association of Bucks County enabled Pennsbury High School East to begin offering counseling earlier this month. The on-site mental health program will be offered to students and families Mondays and Fridays.

The opioid epidemic is affecting thousands of Pennsylvanians, and teenagers are some of the most vulnerable to its effects.

Among those affected are parents of victims, including Pennsbury School Board President Jacqui Redner, who lost one of her sons to addiction last year. She has been an advocate of mental health counseling at the school since her son passed away from suicide in 2015.

Sherri Morett is the Director of Special Education for Pennsbury and is an advocate for the programs.

“Students in crisis require specialized attention,” Morett said. “And this partnership enables us to take clinical action as needed.”

The Caron Foundation has also been available to students since the beginning of the school year, and referrals from Caron will the initial client base for the new counseling available to students.

While the counseling is being opened during a time when the opioid crisis is the focus of many people, services are also available to any students dealing troubling circumstances or issues.