DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The conversation around mental health has become more critical than ever, experts say.
The recent protests following George Floyd’s death while in Minneapolis Police custody and the coronavirus pandemic have consumed our daily lives.
Doctors say it can affect the mental health of children who are already suffering from anxiety and depression.
Nearly eight-million children and teens have at least one treatable mental health disorder and according to experts half of them don’t receive the treatment they need.
Children’s Health is providing virtual mental health counseling through an app to about 85 campuses in 14 school districts around North Texas for free.
“Since the pandemic has hit we have seen, much more a willingness on the part of parents and also part of students to engage with our behavioral health clinicians,” said Jason Isham, Director of Integrated Behavioral Health at Children’s Health.
Now it has extended the care to any child in participating schools throughout the summer break.
The visits can be set up by reaching out to the district contacts.
“Kids are stressed out these days. We also see depression. We also see kids with ADHD as well as developmental phase of life, I call it normal teenage angst,” he said.
Isham says children talk about the stress at home caused by the pandemic, and even though they may not be in the school, some have also talked about online bullying.
The program plans to add 60 more campuses this fall.
If your child’s school is not in program, you can get still the same access to behavioral health counseling through the Children’s Medical virtual app at a cost.
LIST OF PARTICIPATING SCHOOL DISTRICTS:
BLUE RIDGE ISD
CARROLLTON-FARMERS BRANCH ISD
GRAND PRAIRIE ISD