ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Schools in the city of Rochester are outposts for mental health services, available for students and families alike to rely on.
Inside Enrico Fermi School No. 17 on the west side, Hillside Children's Center counselor Anissa Grasley has an office in the lobby of the school.
Grassley said that fear, anxiety, anger and sibling relationships are just some of the issues students bring with them. They can take an hour out of the school day for a session without parents having to drive them elsewhere for help.
"I can't think of one particular school in which we don't have a mental health profesional working there. We take it very seriously," Grasley said.
The Rochester City School District estimates that at least 40 percent of its students have had some kind of Adverse Childhood Experience, or ACE. A recent study estimates that number could be as high as 64 percent for all of Monroe County. An ACE is everything from physical or emotional abuse, to having an adult at home who is an alcoholic, drug user or has a mental illness. It could mean not having enough food in the house.
Studies show the higher the ACE number for a child, the higher the chance that child will struggle in school now, and engage in risky behavior later in life.
Once classfied by the state as a struggling school, School No. 17 is trying to turn itself around and is tapping in to community resources to make that happen.