mental health

Nonprofit Launches $10M Campaign to Address Students' Mental Health

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Finding help for children with mental health concerns can be costly for families across North Texas.

Communities in Schools of the Dallas Region (CISDR) announced a new campaign raising $10 million to help young students after seeing the mental health crisis go from bad to worse during the pandemic.

Curtisha Taylor remembers having a tough time as a teenager, but not knowing it was related to her mental health

"When I grew up that we didn't call it that, it was just behavior problems, you know, you just bad, you know, you're just, you know, rebellious,” she said.

Taylor says a social worker changed her life and now, through her work as a clinical coordinator for Communities in Schools of the Dallas Region (CISDR), she's trying to do the same, by getting to the root cause of why so many are struggling in school.

”We’re seeing the anxiety, we're seeing the depression, we're seeing the bullying, we are seeing, you know, students who are not interested in school anymore, because they are facing a lot of adverse situations when they walk into those doors,” said Taylor.

” I don't think there is a larger issue today than the mental health and wellness of our young people,” said CISDR CEO Adam Powell.

Powell says more than half the students they serve are reporting some sort of mental health challenge. He says 15 more districts have asked for their help.

“Now that we're back in school, school shootings, right, students that are struggling with homicidal ideations and suicidal ideations, we're hearing those things and I think those campuses are now starting to feel kind of the impact of that and are looking for support,” said Powell.

Powell says they don't have the capacity to expand to the additional districts currently and are now raising money to increase access for students.

Monday, CISDR launched a new fundraising campaign Safer Students, Stronger Schools (4S). The nonprofit is raising $10 million to add more site coordinators and offer youth mental health first aid training to more schools across the region.

"My hope would be that we never have another student that has to struggle with a mental health challenge alone,” said Powell.

The goal is to have more social workers like Taylor to hold their hand and get students to the other side.

“They really they want to do better and then they also get that extra glimmer of hope that hey, you can be what you want to be you can be,” said Taylor.

So far, CISDR has raised $2 million toward its $10 million fundraising goal.    

You can learn more about how to support the campaign or volunteer to help students here.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting ‘Home’ to 741741.

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