School-Linked Mental Health (SLMH)
School-Linked Mental Health (SLMH) services are provided to students through 12th grade who attend partnering school districts across Benton, Sherburne, Stearns, and Wright Counties. SLMH services are shown to increase access to children and youth and improve functional outcomes in those with mental health concerns. SLMH services are funded, in part, by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
Referrals can be made for SLMH services by contacting a partnering school or through the schools’ designated referral process.
Available Services provided by SLMH Therapists:
~Individual and Family Therapy
~ Group Psychotherapy
~ Clinical Care Coordination with teachers, parents and other providers
~Mental Health Crisis Intervention Services
~Safety Risk Assessments and Safety Planning
~Parent, Teacher, and Administration Consultations
~Attendance at school meetings and Individualized Education Program (IEP)/Special Education planning meetings
~Staff Training and Development
~Referrals to other services as needed
For more information, contact:
Meet Our Providers
Sheri Tesch- MS, LMFT
Sheri is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Program Manager for the School Linked Mental Health program. She also works as a SLMH Therapist for the Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose School District and has been working with the district since 2001. Sheri received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of MN Duluth, a Master of Science in Child and Family Studies from St. Cloud State University, and a Graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy. She has experience working with children and adolescents ages birth to 18. Sheri is a systemic therapist who utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Narrative strategies from an Attachment based approach to assist children and their families in learning skills necessary to emotionally regulate, manage behavior, and improve overall functioning. She has experience working specifically with children and adolescents diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, Anxiety, Depression, Autism Spectrum Disorders, PTSD/Trauma and Attachment Disorders.
Sarah Maurer- MS, CT, MHP, LADC, ADC-MN, NCCA
Sarah is working towards independent licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and is currently licensed as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Sarah is the SLMH Therapist for the Maple Lake and Kimball School Districts. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Alcohol and Drug Counseling from Minnesota State University-Mankato and a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Minnesota State University-Mankato. Sarah enjoys working with children, adolescents, and families addressing: self-esteem/self-worth, grief, addiction issues, trauma, attachment issues, healthy relationships, emotion regulation, assisting family systems, communication and self-efficacy. She has an integrated approach to therapy using the following modalities; interactive psychotherapy, motivational interviewing, rational emotive behavior therapy, sand therapy techniques, art therapy, trauma sensitive therapy and attachment therapy. Sarah’s professional background includes; chemical addiction counseling, in home individual and family therapy, play therapy and filial therapy training, skills work, and residential direct support for people with disabilities.
Kendra Stalpes- MS, LPCC, LSW
Kendra is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) and a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) working in the Sauk Rapids School District. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Mankato State University and Master Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from St. Cloud State University. Kendra enjoys working with children, adolescents, and families addressing; self-esteem, depression, anxiety, physical disability, assisting families with stability, and transitional services including vocational readiness. She utilizes an empowerment-based, relationship approach along with Person Centered and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy to build a therapeutic atmosphere to help people make positive changes to reach their goals.
Amanda Szulczewski- MA, LPCC
Amanda is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. She is the SLMH Therapist for the Delano School District. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from St. Cloud State University and a Master of Arts degree in Counseling from the University of North Dakota. Amanda specializes in working with children and adolescents who are experiencing emotional and behavioral problems. She provides a positive and accepting environment where children and adolescents are safe to explore life challenges. She utilizes a Cognitive Behavioral and psychoeducational approach, along with mindfulness techniques, to help clients and their families learn how to manage behaviors and regulate emotions. Amanda’s areas of particular interest include working with children and adolescents on issues related to depression, anxiety, difficulty managing emotions, low self-esteem, relationship difficulties, and sibling and family conflict.
Gina Theisz- MSW, LICSW
Gina is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. She provides SLMH therapy for the Monticello and Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose School Districts. Gina obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Minnesota. Gina uses an integrative approach tailored to meet the needs of the people with whom she works. She has experience working with children, adults and families dealing with various issues, including depression, anxiety, trauma, grief and loss, and domestic violence. She uses a strength-based and collaborative approach along with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy to help people make positive changes and reach their goals.
Sam Knauss- MSW, LICSW
Sam is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker who is experienced in providing individual, family, and group therapy to children and adolescents with severe emotional and behavioral disorders in varying levels of care. Sam is the SLMH Therapist for the Sartell-St. Stephen school district. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Liberal Arts for the Human Service from the University of Minnesota, Morris and her graduate degree in Social Work from St. Cloud State University. Sam enjoys working with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma, grief and loss, disruptions in care giving, life style changes, and other challenges related to ADHD, ODD, IED, Attachment, Anxiety, Depression, and Autism. Sam utilizes an eclectic, client-centered and strengths-based approach to empower and support each individual as they learn how to manage and express their emotions, improve healthy relationships, and learn to accept themselves.
Paul Thinesen- MA, LP
Mr. Thinesen received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from St. Cloud State University in 1979 and his Master’s Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of the Pacific (Stockton, Cal) in 1981. Mr. Thinesen has been a Licensed Psychologist since 1986. Mr. Thinesen’s professional experiences and competencies include Applied Behavior Analysis for persons with developmental disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder, children and adolescents with severe emotional and behavioral disturbances, program evaluation and development, intellectual and adaptive behavioral and psychological assessments, individual and group behavior therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, trauma informed services, functional behavioral assessments, consultation and program development for special education, staff developmental programs, and competency based skills training. Mr. Thinesen has competencies in treating anxiety, depression, trauma and other mental health diagnosis in adults and children. Mr. Thinesen serves on several area advisory and consultation committees.