TASA/Meadows Institute Webinar on Student/Staff Mental Health
July 29 @ 9:00 am to 10:00 amFree for TASA Members
Join TASA and the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (the Meadows Institute) for a webinar on how Texas school districts can maximize their Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding to support student and staff emotional wellness in the months and years to come. This July 29 (9-10 a.m.) webinar is free and open to all TASA members.
The Meadows Institute is an independent, nonprofit policy organization that employs experts in mental health interventions and implementation science, with a staff that spans clinicians, school district leaders, social workers, policy experts, data analysts, evaluation specialists, financing experts, and implementation professionals. MMHPI’s work is focused on evidence-based practices. They use school behavioral health frameworks that align with both national best practice models and TEA policies and recommendations.
Over the last seven years, the Meadows Institute has worked with multiple Texas regional education service centers, over 125 individual school districts, and TEA to plan and implement data-driven, evidence-based resources and supports with demonstrated impact in ensuring Texas students and educators are emotionally well and can be sustained over time. For more information on how the Meadows Institute can support your ESC or district, please contact Jennifer Esterline, Vice President of Education Policy, at email@example.com.REGISTER ONLINE
An estimated one in five children and youth under age 18 will experience a diagnosable mental health disorder during any given year, and 40% of adolescents will do so. Although children’s mental health has been a growing concern for some time, the impact of COVID on the mental health of students and educators has moved to the forefront of Texas public schools. Students are experiencing isolation, fears of contracting the virus, grief for loved ones who died from the virus, and the impact of the virus on family job losses and loss of family income. Districts are reporting a dramatic increase in the number of mental health referrals, even with fewer students on campus. Prior to the pandemic, suicide was the second leading cause of death among children and youth (behind accidents), and the rate has reached never before seen levels nationally and in Texas, rising at even higher rates for Black youth. And COVID-19 has only exacerbated the situation: Mid-March through October 2020, the proportion of mental health related ER visits increased 24% among children ages 5 to 11 and 31% among adolescents ages 12 to 17.
With the unprecedented level of federal funding for Texas schools to address the effects of COVID-19 and the continued commitment from the state to support the mental health of all Texans, Texas has the opportunity to fundamentally change the landscape of student mental health for almost 6 million pre-K – 12 students and 360,000 educators across the state. Texas districts will receive $11.2 billion in ESSER III funds in the next few months. Districts want to prioritize not just learning loss that students have experienced as a result of the pandemic, but also the emotional wellness of both students and staff. However, many districts need support on how to successfully implement, scale, and sustain proven, evidence-based school mental health strategies and practices. Districts are also uncertain of how to connect students with more intensive mental health needs to providers in the community who can help. This webinar will provide concrete action steps for Texas school districts who want to plan, implement, and/or improve sustainable and effective school behavioral health systems for both students and staff. Together these practices will help ensure school mental health programming continues long after federal stimulus dollars end.