At Frenship ISD, the well-being of all students is a top priority, including their mental health. The Counseling Department at Frenship works tirelessly throughout the year to support students who may be experiencing mental health challenges. They work collaboratively with the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT) program at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center to provide counseling services to students while they are at school.
Frenship counselors help to identify and refer students who are experiencing mental health challenges to the TCHATT program where they receive individualized care from a licensed professional counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. This program has helped hundreds of Frenship students find support outside of school.
At Frenship, we employ two Crisis Intervention Counselors who assist with mental health concerns, crisis counseling, and supporting students' needs as they arise.
“They are an invaluable resource for our school counselors and help connect students to the appropriate outside counseling resources,” said Craig Thomson, Director of Counseling.
The counselors on each campus strive to create a comfortable environment inside their office and around the school. Students know that when they enter a school counselor’s office, they will find a supportive setting where they can discuss any difficulties they may be experiencing.
“When students have that safe and supportive space to talk about any difficulties they may be experiencing,” said Thomson. “It helps them learn how to process and gain perspective on what they are going through. The goal is to develop these skills so that they are able to handle these situations when they are not at school or around a counselor.”
At the elementary level, counselors do guidance lessons with students which includes a wide variety of mental health, behavioral, and social skill topics. They work hard to mentor the growth of each student as they pass through the grade levels in their schools.
At the secondary level, Frenship schools have a program called Hope Squad which is a peer-to-peer suicide prevention program. Students are trained in what to do if they are ever approached by a classmate who is in a crisis situation, which includes getting that classmate to a trusted adult, administrator, or counselor.
Frenship has systems in place to help assist any student who is going through a mental health crisis. Thomson stated that by having open conversations about mental health and training in suicide prevention, Frenship is working to remove the stigma and lets students know it is okay to ask for help.
"Frenship is a community that wants to instill hope in our students and the knowledge that even when they may be going through difficult times, someone will always be there to support them," said Thomson.