California HS Opens Student Wellness Center for Mental, Physical Health

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A high school in Sacramento, Calif., is opening a new student-based health center called "Pacers Take Space." 

The program at Grant Union High School is part of a partnership between Twin Rivers Unified School District, Neighborhood Wellness Foundation (NWF), Sutter Health and the Sacramento Native American Health Center. 

According to KCRA 3, the center has two facilities on campus. One is called "Pacers Take Space - Mind," where students can go to receive group and individual mental health counseling from licensed clinical providers, as well as have a safe place to decompress and focus. The building also has a pantry where students can get free food, clothing and hygiene products.

This portion of the program opened in March. According to the program's co-founder and CEO, Marilyn Woods, more than 266 students have already benefited from the program's therapy services, and more than 1,200 have received items from the pantry. 

The second on-campus facility is called "Pacers Take Space — Body" and it is set to open in June. 

The clinic will allow students to receive primary healthcare at school. That includes check-ups, vaccinations, and sports physicals and exams, as well as education about reproductive and sexual health. Students can also receive Medi-Cal enrollment support.

"Everyone in our community, we have to travel to other people's communities to accept basic services and basic needs," Principal Darris Hinson, a GUHS graduate himself, said at the opening ceremony Wednesday. "This is the beginning of something that can be transformational to this community."

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