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Mental Health & Wellness

With the safety and well-being of our students as a top priority, we recognize that strong mental health plays a vital role in a student's growth and success. Lakota offers a variety of services and supports to meet the mental health needs of our students.

If a person needs immediate assistance:

Immediate Crisis Response and Consultation
Mobile Response Stabilization Service: 844-427-4747 

Consultation Support and Referral/Intake
Children’s Hospital Psychiatric Intake Response Center (PIRC): 513-636-4124

Crisis Numbers

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 
  • Butler County Crisis Hotline: 844-427-4747 or call 911
  • Ohio Crisis Text Line: Text 4HOPE to 741741

Our Therapy Dog

black therapy dog with red bandana

Reeves is Freedom's Therapy Dog and has been trained, certified, and insured through Circle Tail on how to interact with children within a structured environment. Reeves has also undergone temperament and obedience training, and passed with flying colors.

Reeves brings joy to students everyday at school and provides many benefits:

Cognitive: Companionship with a dog stimulates memory, problem-solving and game- playing.
Social: A dog provides a positive mutual topic for discussion, encourages responsibility, wellbeing and focused interaction with others.            
Emotional: A school dog improves self-esteem, acceptance from others and lifts mood, often provoking laughter and fun. Dogs can also teach compassion and respect for other living things as well as relieving anxiety.    
Physical: Interaction with an animal reduces blood pressure, provides tactile stimulation, assists with pain management, gives motivation to move, walk and stimulates the senses.
Environmental: A dog in a school increases the sense of a family environment, with all of the above benefits continuing long after the school day is over.

*If your student has a significant dog allergy or fear of dogs, please contact our school counselor so she can work with your family to ensure the best experience for your child. 

School Based Therapy

MindPeace logo with ladder and sun as the letter i

We want all of our students to be healthy and ready to learn, and we recognize that strong mental health and wellness play a vital role in a student's growth and success. Students who are struggling with stress, anxiety or other concerns cannot focus on school work. That's why we’ve partnered with Catalyst Counseling and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to help increase student access to high quality and affordable mental healthcare.

In addition to their network of school-based providers, MindPeace also manages a comprehensive community database of all the mental health providers in our region, along with other helpful resources to meet the needs of students and their families. Visit the MindPeace website to view the comprehensive list of providers and resources


After a rigorous needs assessment and interview process, Freedom Elementary identified Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) as our partner to help increase student access to high quality and affordable mental healthcare. 

Meet Our Therapists

Danielle Kelley

Danielle Kelley

Danielle graduated from Xavier University with her Bachelors of Social Work, and minors in Deaf Studies, Gender and Diversity Studies, and Peace Studies. She went on to graduate from the University of Cincinnati with her Masters of Social Work and has worked or interned in multiple roles, such as working as working within the foster care system in multiple roles, being a therapist for families identified as at-risk by JFS and/or to assist in reunification, and being a community-based outpatient therapist.

Her passion is working with children and assisting them to be able to become the best of themselves they can be. A key part of this is working with the entire team, including parents/guardians, teachers, and any other pertinent service providers for the child. We can all work together to assist the youth meet their needs in the various areas of their lives.

Danielle is a huge dog lover who owns one and fosters dogs through a rescue in Eastgate. She also loves to travel and has been to all but 11 US states. She is extremely excited to be working at Freedom Elementary to assist the youths and families here.

Kayla Puckett

Kayla Puckett

Kayla graduated from the University of Cincinnati with her bachelor’s in psychology and a minor in sociology. She went on to graduate from Xavier University with her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and has worked in multiple roles in the mental health field for over 8 years.

Previously she was an intensive home-based therapist for children experiencing significant mental health and/or behavioral problems, a resiliency therapist for people suffering schizophrenia spectrum disorders, on-call crisis management therapist and health officer, and more recently was a clinical assessment specialist working closely with Hamilton County Children Services. She’s proud to have worked within several different populations and specialties within the field.

Though she has a great amount of experience working with different populations, she has a great passion for working with children and families. She really enjoys being able to see so much growth and positive change in the children and families that she works with. She has a strong desire to continue helping children learn about their emotional well-being and grow to make healthy decisions. 

When she is not working, she is likely spending time with her toddler son and her rescue boxer-mix dog, Maggie. Kayla is excited to be a part of the Freedom family!