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Community Connections

June 14, 2021
Monday

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Connection Quest:  Linking our schools with the agencies serving children, youth & families.

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 Click on the Connection Quest image above to access the Google Drive File for your resource mapping needs. 


June's Featured Resources


June is National Safety Month

Texas School Safety Center

The Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) is an official university-level research center at Texas State University. The TxSSC is tasked in Chapter 37 of the Texas Education Code and the Governor’s Homeland Security Strategic Plan with key school safety initiatives and mandates. Specifically, the TxSSC serves as a clearinghouse for the dissemination of safety and security information through research, training, and technical assistance for K-12 schools and junior colleges throughout the state of Texas. In addition, the TxSSC also builds partnerships among youth, adults, schools, law enforcement officers, and community stakeholders to reduce the impact of tobacco on all Texans through prevention, training and enforcement initiatives.

Healthy and Safe School Environment of the Coordinated School Health Model

The physical and aesthetic surroundings and the psychosocial climate and culture of the school are critical factors that influence the health of students. Factors that influence the physical environment include the school building and the area surrounding it, any biological or chemical agents that are detrimental to health, and physical conditions such as temperature, noise, and lighting.  The psychological environment includes the physical, emotional, and social conditions that affect the well-being of students and staff.

Safe, Supportive, and Positive School Climate

A positive, safe and supportive school climate fosters safety; promotes a supportive academic, disciplinary, and physical environment; and encourages and maintains respectful, trusting, and caring relationships throughout the school community.  Creating a positive, safe and supportive school environment requires schools to identify a framework for understanding school climate, measure the climate to identify areas for improvement, and develop a strategy to implement improvements. Positive school climates improve student achievement, teacher retention, and mental health, among other beneficial outcomes. The resources below help to build a positive, safe and supportive school climate. In addition, there are registries below that provide links to find sample climate surveys.

 

 

Local Mental Health Authorities (LMHAs)

School districts can connect their students, staff, and faculty to mental health resources through their respective Local Mental Health Authority.  Each Local Mental Health Authority (LMHA) provides services to a specific geographic area of the state, called a local service area. The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) requires each LMHA to plan, develop policy, coordinate, allocate, and develop resources for mental health services in its local service area.  HHSC contracts with 39 LMHAs to deliver mental health services in communities across Texas. LMHAs provide psychiatric crisis response through 24-hour hotlines and mobile crisis outreach teams.  LMHAs also provide behavioral health services and referrals for Texans seeking behavioral health services. LMHAs routinely outreach to community partners as well as serve as resources in their respective communities for training related to behavioral health and the coordination of behavioral health services during disasters.

Below are two ways to identify the LMHA which serves each LEA:

Download a copy of the crosswalk of Texas LMHAs and LEAs. This tool identifies each Texas school system with their corresponding Texas LMHA and includes the LMHA name, website, and crisis line.

You can also access information through the online LMHA search tool:  http://www.dshs.texas.gov/mhservices-search. You can search for the referral line phone number of each LMHA by city, county, or zip code using the online mental health services search form. You may call the referral line of the LMHA in your area for confidential help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Services may include:

  • Referrals for student or family  mental health services
  • Prevention/Intervention/Postvention Training
  • Mobile Crisis Outreach Team (MCOT) Counseling support in times of crisis or disaster
  • Crisis Counseling Hotlines
  • Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Hotlines

Please contact your LMHA for specific services available in your county – with links to websites

Region 2 LMHAs

  • McMullen County

 

  • Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, and San Patricio Counties

  • Nueces County

 

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New Toolkit: COVID-19 and Mental Health Considerations Amid Reintegration to School

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented change to schools and has significantly impacted children, their families, and school staff. The Texas School Safety Center has developed a new toolkit to address mental health considerations for supporting students, staff, and parents in the transition back to school. These mental health considerations are divided into eight topics:

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Trauma-Informed Training Series
As a result of school closures and remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students have been at higher risk of exposure due to adverse childhood experiences and first-hand exposure to the effects of COVID-19. We also know that many educators have themselves experienced a prolonged state of stress over the course of the pandemic and share many of the concerns regarding loss of safety, health, and predictability as students upon the return to school.
That’s why TEA has launched Project Restore and this trauma-informed training video series, which is designed to address these extraordinary and unprecedented needs and connect you to relevant science and strategies that can help you address your own emotional needs as well the needs of your students and colleagues. This series will help educators create an environment that jump-starts teaching and learning and drives student achievement.

 

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