Mental Health Services

Teresa Phillips


Mental Health Services


My name is Teresa Phillips and I am the Project AWARE Coordinator for ASD2.  Project AWARE stands for Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education.  The purpose of the grant is to promote awareness of mental health concerns within our student population; increase mental health services and resources; address social, emotional, and behavioral concerns; and train staff to better serve the whole student.  I have worked as a Mental Health Counselor in ASD2 through Anderson County Board of Education for 6 years prior to transitioning into this position.  I have a degree in Psychology from Lander University, a Master's of Social Work from the University of South Carolina, and have been licensed by the State of SC for 23 years. I have also worked with SC Department of Juvenile Justice and Connie Maxwell Children's Home.  I have lived in Belton for 16 years and have been married for almost 20 years to Donald.  We have two daughters - Anna and Lauren.

Anderson County School District 2 promotes mental health wellness through numerous services including counseling, crisis prevention/intervention, immediate safety response, coping strategies and suicide prevention.  Research shows that addressing students’ social and emotional needs leads to greater success in school and in life.Anderson County School District 2 partners with licensed mental health counselors and a family liaison in these efforts and provides consultation to teachers, families and community providers.

We support parents in their role as the child's "first" teacher to give children the best possible start in life. However, schools are an ideal place to provide mental health counseling services to school age children and youth.  In fact, research has shown that students are more likely to seek counseling when services are available in schools. In some cases, such as rural areas, schools provide the only mental health services in the local community.

School mental health services are essential to creating and sustaining safe schools. Increased access to mental health services and supports in schools is significant to improving the physical and psychological safety of our students and schools, as well as academic performance and problem-solving skills. School mental health supports that include social–emotional learning, mental wellness, resilience, and positive connections between students and adults are essential to creating a school culture in which students feel safe and empowered to report safety concerns, which is proven to be among the most effective school safety strategies. Additionally, in the aftermath of a crisis, school based mental health professionals provide supports that facilitate a return to normalcy, are sustainable, and can help to identify and work with students with more intense or ongoing needs.

Anderson School District 2 was selected as one of three school districts in the state of South Carolina to participate in an effort to increase mental health awareness and services in schools throughout the state.  Through this federally funded grant known as Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education) we are able to grow our services offered to students and their families over the next four years.  

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