The Texas Collaborative Task Force on Public School Mental Health Services recommended increasing support for school counselors across the state as one of its primary findings in the release of its annual report this month.
“We hope this report serves as a catalyst for change,” said Tracy Spinner, Goodside Health’s Senior Vice President of Education and Strategic Initiatives and the task force’s Assistant Presiding Officer.
“The Task Force’s recommendations provide actionable insights to better serve public schools and private entities as they continue working to improve the quality and availability of mental health services for students and their communities.”
Established with the passage of HB906 by the 86th Texas Legislature, the Mental Health Task Force is charged with reviewing school-based mental health services throughout the state. The 2023 report outlined three primary areas of opportunity that the legislature and Texas Education Agency should consider to improve the current system:
- Appropriate Staffing to Address Student Needs and Supports
- Adequate Funding and Effective Training and Coaching to Implement a MTSS
- Data Collection and Accountability for the MTSS for Mental Health
The Task Force recommended that additional funds should be made available to improve counselor-to-student ratios, adding that counselors should also spend at least 80% of their workdays on counselor-specific duties.
Additional funding can also help school districts and local education agencies (LEAs) implement more effective Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports, according to the report. Prioritizing available resources for mental health specific programs, increasing connectivity with local mental health authorities (LMHAs), and a comprehensive review of the state’s Safe and Supportive Schools Program were among other recommendations from the task force.
“When we work together, we positively impact mental health outcomes for students,” said Spinner. “I want to commend the work of the Task Force, and we share our thanks to everyone that contributed to this year’s important report.”
Click here to see full Year 3 Report from The Collaborative Task Force on Public School Mental Health Services.
About Goodside Health
Goodside Health is advancing the delivery of pediatric care by partnering with communities to provide access to physical health, mental health, and telehealth services at school, at home, and in the clinic. Relentless advocates for expanding access to care and promoting health equity, Goodside Health leverages a Whole-Child Approach to care and lives our mission of closing gaps in children’s healthcare through innovation and execution. To learn more about Goodside Health, please visit www.goodsidehealth.com.