On Your Mind: Corpus Christi ISD breaks down mental health resources for students and teachers

School is in full swing on the Coastal Bend campuses, and in addition to classes and extracurricular activities, we are seeing a growing emphasis on mental health resources.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — School is in full swing for schools in the Coastal Bend area, and in addition to classes and extracurricular activities, we’re seeing a growing emphasis on mental health resources.

In it, “On Your Mind,” Corpus Christi ISD District officials spoke with 3NEWS about the mental health initiatives the district has in place for students, their families, and staff.

In addition to counselors on each of the 57 campuses, the district also has 14 mental health specialists, social workers, and in recent years has introduced new programs to better be there for students.

Following the Uvalde school tragedy in May, coupled with ongoing challenges amid the global pandemic, feeling safe and healthy at school remained a priority for parents around the world.

Dewayne Couch is the proud father of two teenagers who attend Veterans Memorial High School. He shared with 3NEWS that he adopted the brothers last year, changing their life and certainly his own.

“Completely changed, for the better of course. You have a different perspective on things,” Couch said. “Anything with my kids, playing board games, I don’t think they realize that time with them is one of my de-stressers and one of my opportunities to work on my mental health .”

Navigating the new school year, the ongoing pandemic, and the challenges that come with being a teenager in general…it can be a lot. Couch said he felt it was important that he check in with himself and his kids do the same. He shared some things that worked well for his family.

“Stay involved in school. Get physical activity, get a good night’s rest. All electronics turn off at bedtime,” Couch said.

“I might ask them, ‘Did anything fun or exciting happen today?’ Sometimes it was, sometimes it wasn’t. Then it allows them to focus on something fun or exciting and it helps keep that dialogue open, and the boy knows he can come and talk to me at any time. moment.”

It is extremely important for students to have this safe space at home, but also where they spend most of their days.

“We understand here at CCISD that for our students to succeed academically, they must have positive and healthy mental health,” said Maria Iyescas, mental health specialist at Corpus Christi ISD, who explained that during Over the past two years, there has been renewed focus for the district with regards to mental health initiatives.

In addition to the support offered by counselors at each campus as well as social workers, some of these initiatives include:

  • Transition coaches for college students who can provide individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy, made possible by a grant from the School-Based Health Care Solutions Network.
  • TCHATT, now in its second straight year with the district, is offered on all high school campuses. It allows students to receive free therapy online through a real therapist. Sessions can take place during the day.
  • A self-care button on all campus pages, age-appropriate and also accessible to parents.
  • The Benevolent Corner of the CCISD: which is a room open to students and their families to choose clothes, hygiene products and school supplies free of charge.

“A lot of people take it for granted that you can go to the store and buy deodorant, or go to the store and buy shampoo. Or school supplies or even that new pair of shoes for school, and in fact, a lot of our families are struggling right now, with the economy,” Iyescas explained. “So that’s just one hurdle we can break down for our students to be successful in a school environment.”

In addition to establishing important mental health resources for students, Iyescas shares that it’s also important that teachers also have access to additional support.

According to Iyescas, each CCISD employee and their family can receive up to 5 free therapy sessions. It was also last year that the district launched what are called Hearts & Minds Retreats for teachers and staff.

“These are free retreats, where it’s half a day of about 4 hours where our teachers come and we just take care of ourselves. So we introduced yoga, we introduced meditation, guided imagery…”

Courtney Rios, District Guidance and Counseling Coordinator, works closely with Iyescas and all counselors and social workers to ensure that students and parents always have access to these resources.

“The world of school counseling has definitely evolved to serve more than academic purposes,” Rios said.

“There has been an increase in anxiety in young children and systems of depression in young children. We have trainings with our elementary counselors starting at the elementary level to be able to address some of those needs that may require a additional mental health support.”

Rios explained that there is at least one counselor on campus who is their point of contact for families/parents/students who might need more support. From there, counselors then have the discretion to contact the social work mental health team in a referral format to obtain this additional support.

“If a counselor, through this conversation with a student, feels that a parent may need to be informed or consulted, then they can contact the family,” said Rios, who also explained that the mental health service can also make home visits. .

“We meet with students on individual needs and respond to different crises, different mental health issues, addiction issues with the student and the family.”

Classroom Challenges: How Coastal Bend Schools Are Prioritizing Student Mental Health

“Pax Means Peace”: Meet Paxton, Veterans Memorial High School’s New Therapy Dog

South Texas students wear brown to show support for Uvalde on Tuesday

In your head: “How are you…really?”

#Mind #Corpus #Christi #ISD #breaks #mental #health #resources #students #teachers

Add Comment

%d bloggers like this: