Klahsen named to shared mental health position

Jess Klahsen (pictured) has been hired as the new shared student success coordinator between AGWSR, A-P, Dike- New Hartford and Grundy Center, and she will begin her duties on August 1. Klahsen, who lives in Parkersburg, previously worked at Monarch Therapy Services. (Robert Mahar ry/Ecl ipse News- Review photo)

Jess Klahsen isn’t under the illusion that she can save the world in her new job as the shared student success coordinator at AGWSR, Aplington-Parkersburg, Dike-New Hartford and Grundy Center, but if she can make life a little easier for students struggling with mental health issues, she’ll consider it well worth the effort.

An Oelwein native, Klahsen has lived in Parkersburg with her husband for the last five years and comes to the post with a strong background in the mental health as a licensed social worker (she previously worked at Monarch Therapy Services).

One of her biggest goals has always been to teach coping skills and mechanisms before a bad situation spirals out of control.

“As (kids) become adults, maybe they have some of those tools before they get sucked into a system that it’s hard to get out of,” she said. “Advocating for people that have a mental illness and making sure that they get the services they deserve and need is something that I’ve always done and hope to do in this position.”

The new shared position sprang out of an expansion of operational sharing credits near the end of the legislative session, and without a predecessor to draw from, Klahsen, who was chosen from a pool of 11 applicants, admits that she’ll be learning on the fly. But it hasn’t dampened her enthusiasm one bit.

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