San Marcos - Buda - Kyle Edition | June 2022



Mental illness can aect anyone at any age. According to Ashley Bono, a licensed professional counselor, knowing the contributing factors and warning signs of mental illness is critical to ensuring children receive the care they need.

People are not seeing themselves in the work, in those who can help and can provide support. Nationally, the majority of the social workers are white, middle-class females. If you’re looking at our population, our students are predominantly black and brown.

Contributing factors

Warning signs

• Isolation from quarantine or due to stay-at-home orders • Income insecurity • Poor parental mental health • Lack of access to mental health care • Disruptions in routine • Disconnection from social support systems • Instability or abuse at home

• Excessive worrying or fear • Extreme mood changes • Avoiding friends or social activities • Changes in sleeping or eating patterns • Overuse of substances such as alcohol or drugs • Diculty concentrating or staying still


overcome is combating issues that plague Black, indigenous and other minority and LGBTQ communities. “People are not seeing themselves in the work, in those who can help and can provide support,” Vigil said. “Nationally, the majority of the social workers are white, middle-class females. If you’re looking at our popu- lation, our students are predominantly black and brown.” Through its partnerships, it can also reach the LGBTQ community. One of the partnerships CIS has is with Out Youth, a nonprot organization ded- icated to providing a safe space and counseling to LGBTQ youth and adults. “Not one person can be an expert at everything, so we look at the needs of the students on the campus and then bring in partnerships that way,” Vigil said. “We believe that mental health, guidance counseling [and] enrich- ment lead to high-quality education, and we believe that education is the golden ticket.” Lauren Canterberry contributed to this report.

the recommended average, Gonza- lez said they are still limited with resources at times, which is where CIS can help bridge the gap to resources and accessibility. “CIS works alongside counselors, administrators, teachers and the com- munity to bring resources and to bring highly trained individuals to campus,” Vigil said. “Our work is relation based. So what we do is we build a relation- ship with students and families.” The Student Supports Model uti- lized by CIS consists of one staer on campus, and they provide partially direct service but also have access to a network of partnerships that help pro- vide assistance to students. “One person cannot do the level of work that is needed, so our model really, really is founded on partnership work,” Vigil said. She added that CIS of Central Texas is working to provide more access and overcome the barrier of transportation by creating a mental health unit made up of four individuals that will be able to travel to dierent campuses and dis- tricts to help students. Addressing minority group disparities Another barrier that CIS works to


and words used can be one of the many ways to address the stigma. “It’s not unique to our community. You’ll hear [someone say], ‘I’m so OCD,’ when it’s not really OCD, [they] just like things to be neat,” Chatmon said. “[They are] not really using the right language to describe what’s hap- pening. The stigma and the language of how we describe what’s happening has created some potential barriers.” A barrier that CIS is trying to help districts overcome is socioeconomic disadvantage by providing On-Cam- pus Student Support to campuses within Hays and San Marcos CISDs that have the highest-need students or campuses with high low socioeco- nomic disadvantage. The American Psychological Asso- ciation found that socioeconomic disadvantages are a signicant contrib- uting factor to mental health diculties

among ethnic and racial minority youth. External factors such as a poor quality education; unsafe neighbor- hoods; and experiences of racism, dis- crimination and oppression destabilize networks and structures that are meant to support children, which directly aect their mental health. CIS provides 23 full-time staers to campuses across Hays and San Marcos CISDs, the services of which are cost shared between CIS and the districts. Campuses, teachers and even coun- selors often do not have the time, capacity or skill set to provide counsel- ing to all students, Vigil said. The recommended student-to-coun- selor ratio, according to the American School Counselor Association, is 250:1 though the national average is closer to 415:1. The HCISD ratio is about 240:1 while the SMCISD ratio is 370:1. Though the ratios are close to

For more information, visit .


Hays Hopeline: Rattler Tip line:

National suicide hotline: 800-273-8255

National Alliance for Mental Illness- Central Texas: 512-420-9810

Hill Country Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities Centers: 877-466-0660

OUR NEWEST LOCATION! beat austin traffic - 8 miles north of Kyle Don’t wait weeks for your medical imaging. We can see you immediately!

701 Farm to Market 1626, Austin, TX 78748 call 512-444-8900



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