The Region 14 Comprehensive Center supports the Texas Education Agency in coordinating and implementing effective school-based mental health training and programs through a legislative task force, a statewide mental health plan, and professional learning opportunities.
Multiple bills were passed to increase the availability and access of mental health resources for students and families across Texas. Within this legislation, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) was given multiple responsibilities requiring significant coordination to collect data, train educators, and report findings. TEA recognized an opportunity to enhance existing work streams, expand current partnerships, and build new supports for schools as part of a cohesive strategy emerging from this legislation.
Texas Mental Health Resource Database
In 2021, the Region 14 Comprehensive Center (R14CC) and TEA worked with 20 regional education services centers (ESCs) to design a database to streamline data collection, better validate data quality, and publish publicly searchable results. In April 2022, the Texas School Mental Health Resource Database was launched, allowing users to search for available resources within their region, county, and school district. This directly supports the goals of the statewide mental health plan.
Texas School Mental Health Practice Guide and Toolkit
R14CC joined stakeholders from TEA, Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), and South-Southwest Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (SSW MHTTC) at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin to contribute to creating the Texas School Mental Health Practice Guide and Toolkit. The final product provides information, considerations, resources, and tools for schools. The purpose is to help local education agencies plan and provide a comprehensive school mental health system.
Texas School Mental Health Website
R14CC provided feedback on the new Texas School Mental Health Website and forthcoming Safe and Supportive School Programs virtual training modules developed by TEA’s Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education) partners. House Bill 906 set up a new Collaborative Task Force on Public School Mental Health Services, which TEA administers.
R14CC continues developing the Texas Mental Health Resource Database. Plans include reporting features and further database design. We will provide access to ESCs and TEA staff and facilitate informational webinars about the data collection process for ESCs. R14CC will provide ongoing technical support and assistance to update the Statewide Plan for School-Based Mental Health and communications strategies to ensure stakeholders engage with the resources created from this partnership.