Home Schools Harlandale, other school districts benefit from mental wellness program 

Harlandale, other school districts benefit from mental wellness program 

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Harlandale Care Center, 7026 S. Flores St., provides free behavioral health services to Harlandale ISD students and their families as well as district staff. Courtesy photo/MHMST

A half-million-dollar grant is helping support a mental-wellness initiative that serves the Harlandale Independent School District and other client school districts in the area. 

Local nonprofit Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas on July 22 announced a $558,345 grant to the San Antonio Mobile Mental Wellness Collaborative. 

The funding will help the 2-year- old collaborative expand its services into more school districts and reach more students needing critical behavioral health resources. 

Comprised of six local nonprofits, the collaborative offers free wraparound mental health care services, including counseling, psychiatry, education, substance- abuse assessment and consultation, and parenting support. 

Such services are currently available to students and their families, teachers, administrators and other employees in the Harlandale, South San and Edgewood independent school districts.

But in the 2021-2022 school year, the grant will permit the collaborative to extend services to Southwest and Somerset independent school districts. 

Officials from Harlandale, other school districts, Methodist Healthcare Ministries and the collaborative member agencies gathered July 22 at Harlandale’s Sosa Engagement Center to celebrate the grant announcement. 

HISD offers free mental-wellness services at the Harlandale Care Center, which opened at 7026 S. Flores St. in 2020. 

“I get very emotional about the care center because it’s been a dream of mine for years,” Brian Jaklich, Harlandale ISD social-work coordinator, said of the facility.

“I just want to say ‘thank you’ from the bottom of my heart because you never know what impact you have. It’s a wonderful, wonderful program.”

Brian Jaklich, Harlandale ISD social work coordinator, speaks in a July 22 announcement about Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas awarding a $558,345 grant to the San Antonio Mobile Mental Wellness Collaborative. Courtesy photo/MHMST

According to the Texas-based Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, about 130,000 children across Bexar County have behavioral-health needs, and more than 10,000 local children ages 12 to 17 have a substance-use disorder. 

The new funding will help create a “backbone” with staffing for the collaborative. Member agencies include Jewish Family Services of San Antonio, Family Service Association, Clarity Child Guidance Council, Rise Recovery, Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas, and Communities in Schools of San Antonio. 

In addition to the $4.75 million in funding from Bexar County, the collaborative has secured money from the city of San Antonio and other foundations. 

Jewish Family Services CEO Talli Goldman-Dolge is also lead CEO for the wellness collaborative. She said the partner agencies are positioned to bring their resources to underserved communities where costs, language, transportation and access are obstacles for many families seeking mental-health care aid. 

“We wanted to provide a holistic approach to mental wellness by breaking barriers and bringing services right into the schools,” Goldman-Dolge said. “This approach encompasses all people who may touch a child’s life, and we know this is a community effort.” 

Jordana Barton, vice president of community investment at MHMST, said these services could prove “the difference between a student who might be labeled as being disinterested in school or a delinquent or a troublemaker and getting the right intervention that will change their life forever.” 

The new funding will also allow Methodist Healthcare Ministries
to work with the collaborative to develop a telehealth mental wellness counseling program. 

The telehealth program, MHMST officials said, will be part of their existing Connecting Beyond the Classroom initiative in Edgewood,
as well as efforts to expand the collaborative into rural counties that have little or no access to behavioral health services. 

For more, visit https://jfs-sa.org/sammwc or call 210-860-5086.

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