FALFURRIAS, Texas — The coronavirus pandemic has caused many people to experience isolation, which may lead to depression. Local education experts are reminding parents to check on your child's mental health.
"Kids can give you a superficial that everything is OK, but it's not OK," said Dr. Maria Rodriguez Casas, the superintendent of Falfurrias ISD.
She said since the pandemic began, she's seen a major spike of depression in her students.
"We have had multiple outcries and it hasn't stopped and we've also had issues with self-cutters. They cut themselves from high school, junior high and even elementary," said Dr. Casas.
She added that the health and safety of students is her number one priority, and due to the uptick of outcries, Falfurrias ISD applied for a hundred-thousand-dollar grant that would give additional social emotional support for kids, and it was approved.
"We are providing licensed professional counselors in house. We are contracting those services," Dr. Casas added.
The grant is also providing a supplemental curriculum that focuses on ways students can cope with emotions and learn how to be resilient.
Meanwhile, over in Ingleside, school counselors want to remind students and parents, it's time to normalize talking about subjects that might be uncomfortable.
"Asking that question, 'Are you thinking of hurting yourself? Are you thinking about killing yourself? Can we talk about that?," said Robert Hon, a counselor at Ingleside ISD, "and just making that conversation less taboo and more 'talk to me about it and let's have an open conversation'".
They said, it's important to know when to ask for help, and asking for it is OK.
"Just like when you have a cold or you have a cut, this is a cut that is happening in your heart and in your mind, but you still need medical attention," said Dr. Casas.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255.
For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.
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