The Meramec Valley R-III School Board Nov. 15 approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Preferred Family Healthcare Inc. (PFH) to help the district help students who might be dealing with substance abuse.

The program will go into effect for this school year and continue indefinitely. It will help educators identify teens who might be experimenting with drugs or alcohol and offer them a lifeline.

All contact between the agency and the individual students or their families will be kept confidential as required by federal regulations governing confidentiality of alcohol and drug abuse patients records, according to Dr. Jeremy Way, assistant superintendent.

“This will really help us help the kiddos in our district,” Way said. 

This organization will provide on-site counseling interventions for students, as well as substance abuse and prevention and education to students and families in our district.

PFH professionals will identify, assess and link at-risk students and their families with appropriate services.

There is no cost to the district.

The agency looks beyond its core service of identifying individual students and connecting them with appropriate service to assess the needs of the community and allow access to substance abuse prevention and education training within the district.

“This is a valuable no-cost service to the district,” Way said.