Mental Health Resources for Children in El Paso

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — School districts and resource providers in the El Paso area said they are seeing more and more children struggling with mental health issues since the pandemic.

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2020, suicide was the second leading cause of death among children aged 10 to 14.

Dr. Marcelo Rodriguez-Chevres, chief medical officer of the Emergence Health Network, said he has seen more children struggling with mental and behavioral health issues.

“Mostly things like depression, anxiety, what’s thoughts, including suicidal plans, attempts,” Rodriguez-Chevres said.

As KTSM previously reported, the El Paso Police Department said Sunday that EPPD officers and the Crisis Response Team responded to a call from a 10-year-old girl attempting to suicide.

Rodriguez-Chevres said parents and guardians need to watch for warning signs and changes in behavior in their children.

“Changes that you might not think suit a child who sleeps very well, all of a sudden they don’t want to go to sleep, they’re not sleepy, they wake up at night they’re reporting nightmares, mood swings, irritability,

Marcelo Rodriguez-Chevres, Emergence Health Network

He said the last years of the pandemic have caused many children to face more mental health issues, as well as adults.

“We’re much more educated, as a community, in schools, neighbors, you know, not that we’re more and more educated in that, and so on,” Rodriguez-Cheves said. “It may also be that a lot of the elements that we have now in this time, tribute to that, including the pandemic, including being locked up, including not being able to maintain a good social environment for these children which is so critical in their development.

Ysleta ISD partners with Care Solace to connect students, staff, and families with therapy and treatment providers. Meanwhile, El Paso ISD said teachers and staff need to be trained on how to detect at-risk students and intervene.

At EPISD, this training includes:

  • Counseling departments on campuses provide at least some faculty training to meet student needs, including self-regulation and suicide awareness and prevention.
  • EPISD has developed a mandatory training module in Trauma Informed Care, required by state law.
  • Each campus has a multidisciplinary threat assessment team to help monitor students showing signs of distress.
  • The Counseling and Advisory Service assists in coordinating and/or disseminating information on additional training opportunities, as required.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the Emergence Crisis (Mental Health Crisis) Hotline 24/7: 915.779.1800

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