Killeen ISD offering state virtual mental health program
KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - As part of a state program for mental health, Killeen ISD is offering virtual counseling sessions to kids for free.
“As a district, we’re very grateful to have a counseling department that has looked beyond the traditional services offered during a traditional year.”
It’s all part of the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine program, offering students free counseling sessions with psychiatric care physicians outside of the district.
KISD spokesperson Taina Maya says the service has a much shorter wait list than traditional counseling resources.
“It all starts with a conversation with a school counselor and then those students can receive that telehealth counseling session right there in the school,” she said.
“So, they don’t have to leave the school and the parents don’t have to come pick them up.”
Maya says especially during the pandemic, things have not been easy for students. New schedules, learning from home and in the classroom, as well as fear for safety can easily lead to depression.
“It can happen for adults and kids,” she said.
“It really causes anxiety and fear for the unknown. That’s why we’ve helped create this support system.”
The program originally launched in 2019 and since then, state leaders have been trying to get the free resource into as many districts as possible, something that Maya says she’d love to see state-wide.
“We are all for that because we know that there are going to be unknowns that might affect children down the road,” she said.
“It might not be something we see today, but it could be impactful. So, if we can broaden this, why not expand it so it can be beneficial for all students?”
At this time, the program is only available to 15 campuses within Killeen ISD. A full list of the schools and more information can be found on the district’s website.
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