Help is Available

Counselors, online services provided for mental health

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Students of Permian High, Odessa High, and New Tech have been able to receive mental health assistance through telepsychiatry services for almost a year now.  Tele-psychiatric service works as a FaceTime or a Skype call would. Students are set up with a certified child and adolescent psychiatrist in a private and familiar environment. The telepsychiatry service accepts most insurance and Medicaid, though if students do not have insurance, a flat rate is available.

“I’m glad they’re pushing for more than just a typical depression and anxiety session and they genuinely want us to go for whatever is giving us problems,” senior Jasmin Prieto said.

The mental health clinic is for issues broader than depressive and anxiety disorders. Students can be scheduled for things such as grief, phobia, shame, stress, PTSD, panic, as well as other major disorders.

“Getting help for mental health is always a good alternative. The challenge comes from having to reach out and ask for help,” Kim Chandler, Unit/Clinic Manager Department of Psychiatry at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, said. “A lot of teens and even adults struggle with asking for help. Coming to counseling or to a psychiatrist helps patients get the tools they need to be able to live life differently than their parents or grandparents even.”

Students do not have to worry about missing school or finding transportation as sessions are held in a private room in the nurse’s office.

“When a patient is new to the clinic we have them attend an orientation first,” Chandler said. “This is where the patient comes to complete all the required new patient paperwork, we obtain insurance information and provide information on important policies and procedures for our clinic.” 

Students get referred to the telepsychiatry service by the nurse of an SAS counselor.

“During orientation is where the patient receives their first appointment,” Chandler said. “During their first appointment, which is an hour, we complete an assessment and gather more information from the patient as to what is going on, their history with mental health if any, family history of mental health, hospitalizations, etc. From the assessment we then start to formulate a treatment plan and diagnosis, it may take up to three sessions depending on how the patient presents and what they report during the session.”

There are multiple signs for students to look for within themselves such as avoiding school, avoiding sleep, hyper behavior, nightmares, aggression, disobedience, temper tantrums, frequent headaches and stomach-ache.

“Over all, I’m glad they’re making us feel like asking for help and looking for signs in ourselves is okay. Reaching out is scary when you don’t know what response you might get,” junior Justice Chapin said.

It’s important for students to know it’s encouraged to ask for help and allow trusted adults to know how they’re feeling. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Students can talk to the school nurse or school counselors to seek appointments.

More information is available here:

Contact information for Kim Chandler:

(432-620-1160)

Email: [email protected]

Permian High nurse- Kristi Young- Room C-7

https://www.ectorcountyisd.org/domain/2219

432-456-5286 (Nurse direct line)

[email protected]

Office hours: M-F: 8:25 am – 4:25 pm

Permian High SAS counselor:

Mrs. Adela Vasquez- V-15 (456-5276)

Mrs. Caroline Turnbull- C-8 (456-2343)

Dr. Tina Caro (w/ Arlo, the emotional support dog) – V-11A (456-2302)

If you or someone you know is in need of serious and immediate help, call the National Suicide Hotline.

(1-800-273-8255)

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