TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – COVID-19 has pushed a lot of services to online and virtual programs, including learning. Now that list includes free mental health services for TUSD students and their families.
Earlier this year, free counseling sessions for TUSD families would be in person, but COVID-19 has brought counseling to the computer.
“This is an unprecedented time. None of us have been through anything like this and we’re all navigating, said Megan Kasper, Clinical Coordinator, Talk It Out.
Talk It Out has offered free counseling services in the TUSD system with doctoral students and the U of A. As of the end of June they have already done about 200 more appointments than in 2019, with services going all-online since March.
“Our volume has consistently been high,” said Kasper.
Telehealth has made it easier to expand hours and reach more people, organizers said that is a good thing because COVID-19 will probably bring more in search of counseling.
“Depression rates, anxiety rates (are) increasing due to COVID and the uncertainty around it,” said Kasper.
Just rearing up the program again on Aug. 10, they said requests are already coming in related to COVID-19 deaths, isolation and the stress coming from online school.
“If children and families can be healthy, and focus on what they need to focus on, then children will do better in school,” said Terri Howard, family and community engagement coordinator for TUSD.
Parent or guardian consent is not required to request services. Howard said the services are free to all students in TUSD and their families regardless of insurance or income, but should not be used for emergency, crisis services. If you or a loved one are in crisis, please see help at https://www.crisistextline.org/
Kasper said they are looking at expanding the program outside of TUSD.
To sign up for services, click HERE.