This fall, Children’s Health is providing telemedicine technology to students in need of mental health counseling.
The pilot program will deliver therapy visits to students in select Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD schools. Dallas ISD is also considering the program.
“We knew that the only way that we could really create the opportunity for more access was really through technology.”
“There’s a shortage of pediatricians and a shortage of psychiatrists and psychologists,” director of Children’s Health’s campus-based programs Danielle Wesley told KERA News. “We knew that the only way that we could really create the opportunity for more access was really through technology.”
From anxiety to depression, mental health disorders can affect student’s learning capabilities in the classroom. Nationally, only 40 percent of youth that struggle with mental, emotional, and behavioral health issues graduate high school, according to the Association for Children’s Mental Health.
“There’s a stigma for mental health [and] behavioral health issues in the community,” Jason Ishome, who manages behavioral issues at Children’s Health told KERA. “One of the ways that we want to combat that is by providing rapid access to folks in the areas where they live and they work and they play.”
Wesley hopes to see a growth in telemedicine aiding mental health patients as she has seen with physical examinations.
“We actually have a waiting list of school districts that are calling us about our model,” Wesley told KERA.