Innovative mental health program finishes successful pilot year

CEOs of each organization in the San Antonio Mobile Mental Wellness Collaborative celebrate the grand opening of the South San ISD Care Zone in November 2019 with San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg (far left). Also pictured (l to r): Jessica Knudsen, Clarity Child Guidance Center; Talli Dolge, Jewish Family Service of San Antonio; Evita Morin, Rise Recovery; Marion Sokol, Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas; Mary Garr, Family Service Association; and Jessica Weaver, Communities in Schools.

The San Antonio Mobile Mental Wellness Collaborative, led by Jewish Family Service of San Antonio, recently completed its 7-month pilot program at South San ISD with more than 200 individuals receiving counseling, as well as more than 1,300 people receiving a consultation or training.

The innovative Collaborative is a simple idea: Bring a variety of mental health services and education into the schools where they are so desperately needed. Each partner is a piece of the puzzle in providing a holistic approach to mental health and substance abuse for students, as well as their families, teachers and the administration.

A child with anxiety can learn coping skills. A group of young men can talk through the social pressures they face. Teachers have the best mental wellness resources to help their students succeed.

COVID-19 hit in the middle of the pilot program, resulting in the program going virtual – telehealth, parent resources, online training, videos and more. In the future, teletherapy will be a way that the program can continue in the summer and other school closures.

“Building this program has been the highlight of my career,” said Talli Dolge, CEO of JFS. “Knowing we are able to support and help these families during this time – it is life-changing for me. My goal is that we continue to grow this program across the city, state and nationally so the all school districts are able to provide a holistic mental wellness approach that works for them.”

The Collaborative will continue its work with South San ISD and a couple more school districts during the 2020-2021 school year.

Other members of the San Antonio Mobile Mental Wellness Collaborative include:

 

 

 

 

 

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