Healthcare

Half of Texas school districts don’t offer mental health services: report

Greg Abbott
FILE – Texas Governor Greg Abbott passes in front of a memorial outside Robb Elementary School to honor the victims killed in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, May 29, 2022. Abbott again said on Thursday, July 14, 2022, he was initially misled about the police response to the Uvalde school massacre, calling it “shocking” that newly leaked video of officers hesitating for more than an hour does not match what he had first described to the public as a swift and brave confrontation. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills, File)

Mental health services are not offered in close to half of Texas’s school districts, according to a CBS News report.

The network analyzed data from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and found that of the state’s 1,247 public school districts, 593 of them did not have a school psychologist on staff or provide a telehealth option.

The analysis also found that, on average, there was usually one psychologist available for more than 1,200 students — above what experts say the reasonable ratio should be for psychologists to students, which is a minimum of one psychologist for every 500 to 700 students, according to CBS News.

Among the Texas school districts that did not have mental health services was Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District. One of the district’s schools became the scene of a mass shooting in May when a gunman opened fire and killed 19 students and two adults.

In the wake of the shooting, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to make sure mental health treatment was available to children in the Uvalde. 

Abbott also said following the shooting that the state needed to do a better job of tackling mental health, though his comments came under scrutiny given that the HHSC saw $211 million in cuts earlier that year, according to KSAT.

The Hill has reached out to the TEA for comment. 

Tags CBS News Greg Abbott Greg Abbott KSAT mental health care Texas Texas Education Agency Texas Health and Human Services Commission Uvalde Consolidated School District
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