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Airport, TX: Mental health screenings used to find at-risk students

May 23, 2018, NBC5, DFW Airport, TX: Texas Program Prevents School Violence Through Mental Health Screenings State leaders were back at Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's roundtable Wednesday, exploring every possible way to prevent another tragedy like the school shooting in Santa Fe. Wednesday's talks were focused on mental health needs in state schools, and spotlighted an innovative program in Lubbock. … Since the program started in 2014, in response to the Sandy Hook school and Aurora theater massacres, it has used mental health screenings, specifically violent risk assessments, to get psychiatric help to hundreds of children throughout the 10 school districts it serves. The TWITR project uses telemedicine to get teens whose behavior has raised red flags with counselors in front of a child psychiatrist, who can diagnose and prescribe treatment right away. According to this data brief, 41,807 students have been impacted by the TWITR project, and around 1% have been referred and screened by licensed professional counselors. Over 200 students have been triaged via telemedicine with the TTUHSC Psychiatry Department. Twenty-five students have been removed from school and 44 were placed in alternative placements. Thirty-eight students have been sent to an emergency room or inpatient hospital. Ninety-four students were referred for anger or violence, 65 for suicidal ideation and/or self harm, 36 for depression, and 57 for other reasons (eating disturbance, anxious behavior, truancy, etc.).

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