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Non-profit provides counseling at select ECISD elementary schools

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 5:53 PM CDT
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MIDLAND-ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - Communities in Schools of the Permian Basin provide licensed professional counseling to school districts in order to eliminate obstacles students may face when seeking help.

Over 20 schools in Ector County, Midland, Pecos-Barstow-Toyah, and Big Spring school districts have a variety of resources to set students up for a successful future, all thanks to Communities in Schools of the Permian Basin.

Counseling is just one of the resources offered to secondary schools and now three elementary schools in ECISD.

“A lot of people have the notion that well little ones are resilient, they don’t know what’s going on, but little ones are hearing news media, social media, they’re seeing these things, they have so much access to so much more than generations before them, so they’re much more in the know than people give them credit for,” said Jessi Morgan, the Program Manager of Mental Health Support at Communities in Schools of the Permian Basin.

The program was officially rolled out this semester and so far counselors reported an overwhelming response from students..

Morgan said the COVID-19 pandemic escalated issues kids were already struggling with and the younger kids have a harder time expressing their feelings.

“Their stress looks so different from adults and adults can put a name to it usually, we can put a word to how we’re feeling, if you haven’t taught kiddos those feeling words ahead of time beyond just sad, mad, happy, they don’t know how to express that to you,” Morgan said.

Communities in Schools of the Permian Basin places a staff member at each school campus to be an extra layer of support for students. The executive director of the organization said this helps students struggling with depression, anxiety and other stressors that affect them both in and out of school.

“The fact that we’re not addressing the social, emotional needs, you know the mental health issues there and i think once we do that, i think that we will flip the switch and get a better return on our school system,” said Eliseo Elizondo, the Executive Director of Communities in Schools of the Permian Basin.

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