‘I Began Feeling Like I Mattered’: How On-Campus Mental Health Counseling can Make a Big Difference [washingtonpost.com]

 

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Thank you, Lara, for posting this article.  I've excerpted a section below that describes how the Austin school district aims to provide trauma-informed mental health services.  The administrators recognize that schools in both under-resourced areas and schools in affluent areas need accessible mental health services.  Also, there is valuable information in this article about how Austin secured funding for these services and how efforts are underway to diversity funding sources beyond state and federal grants.  

Four years ago, Vida Clinic partnered with the Austin Independent School District (AISD) to create on-campus mental health centers at three area high schools. Their goal was to prove that accessible, trauma-informed mental health care can significantly aid students struggling with depression, anxiety and a host of trauma-induced conditions.

Within a matter of months, kids who had been exposed to abuse, sexual assault and other scarring experiences saw striking improvements in their grades, behavior and overall happiness, according to evaluations by Vida and the school district.

Tracy Spinner, AISD’s director of Student Health Services, was impressed. “Not only did these kids’ mental and emotional health improve; their attendance improved and they became re-engaged in school altogether,” she said. “We couldn’t help but do a double take and think, ‘Did that just happen?’ It was stunning.”

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