Superintendent Diana Sayavedra and representatives from Emergence Health Network met with U.S. Congresswoman Veronica Escobar on Friday at El Paso High School to highlight a collaboration for school-based mental health services.
El Paso ISD and Emergence Health Network entered into an agreement in 2020 to provide a qualified mental health professional on-site at five campuses for case management, skills training, medication management and counseling.
“We are proud of our partnership with EPISD and applaud the commitment the district has taken in not only caring about their students’ physical and academic well-being, but their mental health as well. Providing this type of awareness and care in the early years is vital,” said Kristi Daugherty, Emergence Health Network chief executive officer.
Emergence mental health professionals are positioned at Canyon Hills Middle School along with El Paso, Austin, Franklin and Bowie high schools and can provide students with on-campus for outpatient appointments. Nearly 300 students have enrolled in the program.
“El Paso ISD is the first school district in the county that has invested in on-site mental health supports for our students and our families,” Sayavedra said. “It aligns nicely with our Strategic Blueprint which says we are going to service the whole child and that doesn’t always happen in the classroom. There are a number of different supports we have to build so our students have access whenever they are in need or whenever they are in crisis.”
Sayavedra stressed El Paso ISD’s commitment to whole child development to include both physical and mental wellness and social emotional support.
“We can’t do it without leveraging our community assets and that’s what we’re doing with our partnership with Emergence,” she said.
Congresswoman Escobar was encouraged by the collaboration between El Paso ISD and Emergence to deliver on-site mental health support for students.