WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Texoma school districts are working to address mental health in the classroom by training staff and making counseling more accessible.
The Bowie ISD School Board put together a behavioral assessment team at the beginning of last school year. They are now sending more counselors to receive training on how to spot the signs of a troubled student and how to help them.
“There's so many attacks and school shootings and things like that. So, we wanted to put some processes in place so that we are prepared in the event of the worst case scenario,” said Bowie ISD Superintendent Blake Enlow.
He added that staff is trained too look out for kids that may be isolating themselves. “…Are they being a loner? Are there comments? Are they drawing things that are leaning towards some sort of violence that’s being built up.? One of the things they’re told is if you see something say something,” said Enlow.
Bowie is not the only Texoma school district that has set in motion resources meant to address student's mental health. Burkburnett ISD has as well.
Overton Ray Elementary Counselor Kristen Taylor said, “We have guidance lessons that I offer monthly. We have individual and small groups, and we cover anything from peer conflict to empathy.”
The district also created a way for students to seek out help at any hour of the day, through an app.
“That app allows them to notify us when they are struggling maybe on the bus or in their home when there’s conflict between parents. The idea of the app is to have another set of eyes and ears,” said Taylor.
Both school districts are working to create a culture where students feel like if they need help, they can find it.
“I think that it’s very important for every child to have a trusted adult. Even if it’s just one. Even if it’s not here within these walls of this school,” Taylor stated.
“Be that person for our kids. Make sure you build a relationship, build a rapport with every single kid that we have,” Enlow said.
In June Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed multiple bills into law dealing with student’s mental; health. One increases mental health training for educators, and another helps students connect with mental health services.