Deer Lakes

School District

Mental Health Supports

Deer Lakes understands that students have a variety of mental health and emotional support needs throughout the school year. To meet those diverse needs, the district has built multiple layers of support into each building.

Here are the resources that are available to our students:

School Psychologist
School Counselors
  • Deer Lakes has two school counselors in the high school and one each in our middle school, intermediate center and primary center
Behavioral Specialist 
  • Works within the district primarily with K-5, but available 6-12
School-Based Mental Health 

School Consultation

Additional Supports

  • Deer Lakes also contracts two mental health liaisons and a social worker
  • Provides school-based and school-linked mental health, alcohol, and tobacco and other drug-related services
  • Assigned to schools (four employees total)
  • Student Assistance Program (SAP/ESAP)
  • Screening
  • Postvention
  • Psychoeducational Services
  • Social Skills

Building-Based Student Assistance Programs and Elementary Student Assistance Programs (SAP/ESAP)

  • Consists of principals, school counselors, teachers, administrators and outside therapists
  • Identification of student needs through identified markers
  • Consistent interaction with Allegheny County Department of Human Services to assist in supporting students
  • Partner with the Holy Family Institute, which sends a representative to all SAP meetings and collaborates on mental health services

Ongoing Districtwide Staff Training
Deer Lakes School District understands that mental health issues can impact every student population constituency and every aspect of the system.  As such, mental health training is a regular part of the school district's staff development.  In the past few years, Deer Lakes' staff have been trained on issues such as: 

The Stand Together initiative trains, inspires and equips middle and high school youth to take action against stigma toward youth with mental and/or substance use disorders to reduce negative attitudes, beliefs, and social distance between youth with these disorders and their peers.

Child and Adolescent Partial Program
In partnership with Wesley Family Services’ Child & Adolescent Partial Hospital Program, Deer Lakes provides day treatment services for students grades K - 12 at Deer Lakes High School. 

The program serves children from various school districts throughout Western Pennsylvania with intense mental health and psychological challenges with the goal of transitioning them back into traditional educational placement. The program provides comprehensive mental health treatment including individual, family and group therapies as well as weekly psychiatric monitoring.  

Students are referred through their home school district and/or local mental health providers. Student also receive academic instruction and support provider by Deer Lakes' educational staff.

As always, we encourage our parents and guardians to contact the district directly to get the most current account of the programs and resources that the districts offers.


Mrs. Lindsay McGaughey
Director, Student Support Services
163 East Union Road
Cheswick, PA 15024
Phone: 724.265.5320 Ext. 2647

Mrs. Kristen Porter
Social Worker
163 East Union Road
Cheswick, PA 15024
Phone: 724.265.5320 Ext. 2673


Policies & Procedures