Mental Health

Professional Development Goal:

By May 20, 2020, the ESU 16 Mental Health Team will develop a systematic referral form in order to early identify behavioral, social-emotional, and mental health concerns in students. The referral form will then lead to direct services, evaluations, and collaboration with school teams.

Meet our team

Catherine Ruhlman

School Psychologist: Ed.S; NCSP
Work phone: 308-284-8481 (ext. 2203) 

Email: cruhlman@esusixteen.org

I received my Bachelors of Art in Psychology with an Emphasis of Mental Health and minor in Sociology from Doane College in Crete, Nebraska. I then received my Educational Specialist Degree (Ed.S) in School Psychology from The University of Nebraska at Kearney. I have my NCSP (Nationally Certified School Psychologist). This is my ninth year as a School Psychologist and have been with ESU 16 that entire time. For nine years I have been a Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (CPI) Instructor. I am part of our Nebraska Crisis/Safety Team and ESU 16 Crisis Response Team Coordinator. Being a School Psychologist has been a lifelong dream of mine. I have always wanted to be an advocate for students. I am able to help in the area of academia, behavioral, social-emotional, and mental health. My hobbies include playing golf and tennis, reading, gardening, and baking. 

Carmen McMahon

School Psychologist

Email: cmcmahon@esusixteen.org

I received my Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Elementary Education and Special Education (K-6) from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. I then went on and earned my Education Specialist Degree (Ed.S) in School Psychology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. I worked for two years in the West Point-Beemer School district, followed by two years with Lincoln Public Schools, and then one year working through telehealth with Fairbury Public Schools. This is my second year with ESU 16. I’m currently working in Brady, Wallace, Stapleton, and McPherson County. I love my job as a School Psychologist because you never know what each day with bring. I have a wonderful little boy and a husband who both keep me on my toes and constantly moving!   

Diane McLeod

School Psychologist

Email: dmcleod@esusixteen.org 

I graduated from Thedford High School then attended UNL-Lincoln where I received a B.A. with a major in psychology and minors in English and Sociology. After a car wreck thwarted my plans to "backpack" Europe, I attended Kearney State College (KSC) and received a M.A. in K-12 Guidance and Counseling. During that time I enjoyed a graduate assistantship co-teaching in the Department of Counseling and was able to do my student teaching at the Youth Development Center in Kearney. During my student teaching I was hired by KSC as the Director of Academic Advising. While employed by KSC I got my Specialist degree in School Psychology. (Each course I took cost $1.00 !!) I also was able to go to Europe with a college "spring break" tour, which was less risky than the original "back-packing tour". ( God is always in control.) After four years as Director of Academic Advising I packed my bag of skills and headed back to the Sandhills as a ranch wife and educator. I single-handedly taught the one-room Brownlee school which was a K -6, drove 30 miles to Thedford after school every day and took on their guidance and counseling program and was their School Psychologist, sometimes testing on Saturdays. Life has slowed a bunch since then. Raising five children and working as a School Psychologist for ESU #16 has been a huge blessing in my life. I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing people.

Robyn Werth

Behavior Consultant

Email:  rwerth@esusixteen.org

Robyn Werth resides in Hyannis, Nebraska with her husband, Jon, and their two daughters, Asthon and Audrabell. Robyn’s dad was a historian and curator and she grew up on historic sites in Nebraska and North Dakota. Her family was active in living history. She worked for several years in the tourism industry. She loves to travel and learn about places and cultures. When Robyn started her teaching career she chose to teach in rural Nebraska. After teaching for 8 years in remote rural schools, as a K-8 instructor, Robyn became the special education teacher at Hyannis Area Schools in 2009. Robyn spends much of her out of school time teaching her daughters how to ride and taking them to horse events. For many years Robyn was a PRCA trick rider and is now sharing that sport with her children. She also enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, leather crafting, collecting and making Christmas villages, shooting sporting clays, and archery. Robyn and her family attend the Shepherd of the Hills Church. In 2000 Robyn was Miss Rodeo North Dakota. The following winter she was asked to serve on the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame Board of Directors, a position she held for 6 years. She was Lion of the year for the Hyannis Lions Club and is the president of the Grant County Pool Board. In the spring of 2017 she earned her Master’s Degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in Special Education and has Behavior Specialist endorsement. Robyn working for ESU16 as a the behavior consultant. She works with students, teachers, and administrators in a 12,000 square mile area. She likes to listen to books on tape as she travels. 

Gwen Bergstrom

Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner (LIMHP): MS Ed. Email: gbergstrom@esusixteen.org

I received my Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with an Emphasis in Management from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. I then received my Masters of Science in Education (MS Ed.) in Clinical Therapy from The University of Nebraska at Kearney. This is my thirteenth year as a Licensed Mental Health Practitioner and I have been with ESU 16 for 3 years. I am part of our ESU 16 Crisis Response Team. I previously worked for Mid-Plains Behavioral Healthcare in the roles of Foster Care Therapist and Intensive Family Preservation Therapist. I also worked in private practice for 6 years
My hobbies include running, fishing, camping, and growing pumpkins at Homestead Pumpkin Patch.

Jamie Meismer

MA, Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner (LIMHP) 

Email:  jmeismer@esusixteen.org

I have been working with students for around 15 years. Throughout my journey in education, my passion for wanting to further help students and families grew and grew. I found myself drawn towards the counseling path. After having been a teacher and school counselor, I gained my license to practice in mental health in 2015. I was in private practice for three years. As time went on in private practice, I found myself providing services to clients in their schools more and more. For some students, this was the best way to help them and their families. Eventually, I was very blessed to have the opportunity to work with ESU16. I absolutely love being able to work with families and schools to best help our children as these are huge components of a child’s identity and well-being.

Sara Gentry

School Social Worker

Email:  sgentry@esusixteen.org

I earned my Bachelors of Science in Social Work from Molloy College in 2007 and my Masters Degree in Social Work through the University of Southern California in 2019. I have worked in a variety of different settings including; therapeutic foster care, child protective services, out-patient mental health and in law enforcement. I began her journey with ESU 16 as a Services Coordinator for the Early Development Network in 2017 until the agency developed the School Social Worker position in 2019. When I'm not at work I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, dogs, traveling and reading.