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Abbott allocating money towards mental health resources at schools

Classroom FILE
Posted at 10:24 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 23:24:37-04

Victoria Crosley and her two sons were spending the day on Thursday at La Palmera Mall, going from store to store while her kids are off for summer break.

But on Crosley’s mind, one of her son's mental health; especially, when he goes back to school.

He’s about to enter a new chapter in his life: high school.

“He was bullied and I didn’t feel like he got enough from his school,” Crosley explained about her son’s experience in middle school.

Crosley felt like her son’s school didn’t do as much as they could to help her son get through the bullying.

She had to send him to a counselor and psychiatrist to address his mental health.

“He didn’t want to go to school. He was not doing well, his grades were dropping,” she said.

Crosley said there aren’t enough mental health resources to address anxiety, depression, and bullying at her son’s school.

“I believe they need more counselors on hand at the schools. This needs to be settled. It needs to be talked about,” Crosley said.

Gov. Greg Abbott is allocating $5.8 million to expand the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine program to schools statewide.

The program provides mental health evaluations and psychiatric medicine to students.

Dr. Ryan Smith, a psychiatrist in Corpus Christi said after tragedies, educating students about mental health is important for them.

He said cognitive behavioral therapy helps students get through anxiety and depression by teaching them coping skills and gradually exposing them to their trauma.

“Normalizing reactions to trauma and just for mental health in general, is very helpful,” Smith said.

Nancy Vera, the president of the Corpus Christi chapter of the American Federation of Teachers said there’s a lack of mental health resources for students in the Coastal Bend.

She said Abbott’s program should be offered both virtually and in person.

She said students could be going through poverty or be facing abusive parents and that could affect their mental health while at school.

Without an adequate amount of mental health resources, she said they cannot succeed in school.

“The purpose of education is so that our children will be better able to move, enter, weave their lives into society so they can be successful,” Vera said.