TOMBALL (April 10, 2018) Tomball Regional Health Foundation (TRHF) awarded Tomball Independent School District (Tomball ISD) a $124,707 grant to accelerate a districtwide full-continuum mental health model that will further improve the district’s system to identify and support the mental health needs of all students.

A districtwide full-continuum will enhance a tiered support framework. Tier One will implement the Center’s Emotional Backpack awareness campaign that will include training modules, lesson plan, and activities to help reduce mental health stigmas within campus culture. Tier Two focuses on campus interventions, consistent information dissemination, and referral programs for mental health needs. The final tier, Tier Three, will enable Tomball ISD to provide routine assessment of students found under the influence to determine the extent to which the student may have a substance abuse disorder. Collaborating with Teen and Family Services (TAFS) will assist the district in establishing a clinic inside a Tomball ISD high school to provide intervention and assessment by a TAFS clinician.

“Tomball ISD currently implements a multi-tiered intervention support network for academics and behavior, but the support from these partnering organizations will increase the district’s reach with preventative and responsive mental health awareness and services,” stated Dr. Michael Webb, Assistant Superintendent of Student Support, “We were looking for ways to enhance the current social and emotional learning initiatives of Great Expectations and Character Strong already in the district. The mental health continuum will build upon these current programs to meet student’s mental health needs in the best way possible.”

Currently, suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents and at a 40 year high among teen-age girls. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, it is estimated that 80% of children nationwide have a mental health disorder, yet only 20% of these conditions are identified. As the student population increases in Tomball ISD, mental health is at the pinnacle of tasks on the district’s overall agenda. “Anything we can do in our community to help decrease teen-age suicide and improve the mental health of the population we serve we definitely want to do”, according to Vicki Clark, TRHF Chairman.

“The district believes that mental health is extremely important for the overall success of our students. Being awarded this grant means that Tomball ISD can remain a premier school district that cares about the whole student, including their social, emotional, and academic success. We are very appreciative of the Tomball Regional Health Foundation for this very generous contribution,” said the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Martha Salazar-Zamora. This continuum will identify, support, and provide mental health resources while increasing awareness among youth and adults in the community.