School mental health pilot program expands into more districts

The Care Zone is now available at South San ISD, Harlandale ISD and Edgewood ISD

SAN ANTONIO – Two years ago, KSAT12 was first introduced to a collaborative program involving six local agencies.

The mental health mobile unit was a way to give students, their families, faculty and staff a place to go for their mental health needs.

The CARE Zone opened up at South San ISD and has since flourished, with now Harlandale and Edgewood ISDs adding it to their schools.

“In our first year we had 1,600 people and it’s grown now with the three school districts, and we’ve now since the beginning of this year have seen over 5,000 people,” Talli Dodge from Jewish Family Services said.

The program’s curriculum has also expanded as a result of the pandemic and services became widely available virtually.

“Teachers and the administrators, of course, did not have any roadmap to deal with this,” Dodge said. “But now they had our services to consult with to really figure out how to implement behavioral health challenges in the classroom over Zoom.”

Besides the two new districts adding the program, eight more are in talks to add it as well and the model is even getting national attention.

For more information about what services are provided by the CARE Zone, you can visit each district’s website.

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About the Author

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

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