Mental health help for students doesn’t stop during summer months. Here’s how parents can get help for kids

Here's what we know

HOUSTON – The shooting in Uvalde happened during the last week of school for most students across Texas.

Typically, school counselors would be available for any student struggling with mental health challenges after a tragedy like that, but how can parents get help during the summer months?

Turn to your school counselor

Over the summer, no child needs to suffer alone.

Did you know you can still contact your school counselor for help?

On districts’ websites, you can find the counselor’s email address and they should be able to guide you to resources that can help with mental health.

In Humble ISD, they have student wellness counselors who focus on emotional well-being instead of strictly academic guidance.

“It’s all tailored to be very personal, and what each student and what each grade level and campus needs,” said Humble ISD Senior Director of Personalized Student Success, Melissa Lee.

Lee said the wellness counselors are also available during the summer.

“They’ll go out and meet with the campus counselor and meet with the parents. They’ll meet with a student to see if that’s a good fit and provide additional therapy, additional counseling sessions for that student to hone in more on the specific needs for what that child is struggling through,” she said.

What should parents be watching for?

The pandemic has taken its toll on youth.

According to the Texas School Counselor Association, the most common behavioral health issues since the pandemic began, include:

  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Eating disorders
  • Struggling to form relationships with others

Jennifer Akins, TSCA president, said these are not new issues to young people, but have presented with more intensity and are more prolonged than they were in the past.

Who can I contact during a crisis?

Akins recommends using government websites to find helpful resources:

Still don’t know who can help?

For any issue you have and don’t know who can help, try the state hotline at 2-1-1.

“Just like 911 but 211,” Akins said. The operator there can assist you with finding practical resources in your community such as counseling, food and shelter, social services, etc.

What’s to come

In the fall, students across Texas will notice a hotline on their ID badges where they can reach mental health professionals.