Nov 16, 2019, Texas Public Radio: Four Years In The Making, Mental Health Center Opens In South San Antonio School District https://www.tpr.org/post/four-years-making-mental-health-center-opens-south-san-antonio-school-district Six local nonprofits that specialize in therapy and counseling are piloting a mental health wellness program at the South San Antonio Independent School District. On Friday the South San community celebrated the opening of a building at Athens Elementary where students, parents and staff can access the agencies’ services free of charge. TPR's Camille Phillips reports on the opening of a mental health center at South San ISD…. It makes grief counseling, child psychiatry, addiction support and family therapy accessible to the South San community, and eliminates the need for long bus rides to appointments on the other side of town…. “This is not about doing something nice for students. It is about justice,” Mujica said. …. Local news reports of the students’ calls for increased access to mental health services inspired the six nonprofits to launch the pilot program at South San…. “We are providing the resources for the first year, but we are also looking for additional funding in order to sustain this year,” Dolge said. Since the district sent letters home to parents announcing the pilot program earlier in the semester, Dolge said they’ve seen more requests for services than they expected. They received more than 15 requests on Wednesday alone. “We have to expand our services,” Dolge said. “And if we have to expand our services, we need more money as well.” Dolge also said the collaborative has heard from several districts interested in working with the agencies to open their own mental wellness centers. South San’s mental health and behavioral specialist, Susan Arciniega, said the pilot program enables students to receive services immediately, instead of waiting four to six weeks to be seen at a place that accepts their insurance or offers reduced rates….
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