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Dallas, TX: Students with mental health issues can access online counselors

Sept 4, 2018, Fox 4, Dallas, TX: Program brings virtual counselors to schools Some school districts are using advanced technology to help students who are having a difficult day. Children’s Health’s new virtual counseling program is already being used for both high school and middle school students in Carrollton-Farmers Branch, Wylie and Denison. Mental health is a big issue for kids now more than ever. Children’s Health estimates there are 1.2 million children just in Texas who have some sort of mental disorder. “These kids are able to access counseling through school. They are in school and it’s virtual counseling. They’re super comfortable with technology. We all know that,” said Rosanna Sanchez, the hospital’s behavioral health care manager. Sanchez said school counselors identify kids to start the process of short-term therapy with six to eight sessions. The counselors meet with their parents and then the kids can download an app to chat with a medical professional. They can talk to counselors about things like stress, anxiety, self-esteem issues, depression or any other problems they are having in life. “The short-term program has been very successful,” Sanchez said. “The need is there. We’re just looking to see where we are expanding it the most. And so it’s definitely going to be in more school districts soon.”

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