KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
May 17, 2021
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy students take a stand to support peers and combat stigmas against mental health. Five Katy schools have student mental health alliance clubs. These clubs have played a key role in offering support, resources during a most challenging year.
Katy Students Join the Conversation
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and Katy ISD students are playing a key role in supporting fellow students, providing resources and taking a stand against mental health stigmas.
Space for Resources and Awareness
“The student mental health alliance provides an opportunity and space for students to receive psychoeducational information on topics related to mental health,” says Anna McHale-Miller, Coordinator in Social Work Services for Katy ISD.
“These groups are not meant to be support groups or therapeutic in nature, but rather bring awareness to mental health,” explains McHale-Miller.
The groups operate like any other student group in how they are formed and follow the same District student club guidelines. This requires them to have a sponsor and invite members interested to join.
Currently Taylor High School, Tompkins High School, Seven Lakes High School, McMeans Junior High, and Katy Junior High have a student mental health alliance club on campus.
'Take ownership and demonstrate leadership in ending the stigma...'
“The mental health alliance club is student led to explore how students may take ownership and demonstrate leadership in ending the stigma of mental health,” says McHale-Miller. “The club sponsor is involved to make sure students are supported in their efforts, ensuring information presented and discussed is evidence based, and to answer any questions students may have.”
The Katy ISD crisis intervention and mental health team consisting of trained licensed mental health professionals and mental health trained officers are also available to support the student mental health alliance groups.
“As part of Goal 8 in the Katy ISD Strategic Design, it is a priority the District to actively support the emotional well-being of all learners,” says McHale-Miller. “We hope these student groups can bring awareness of mental health topics and resources to their peers as well as inform campus and district leadership of the needs on their respective campuses.”
National statistics routinely show how mental health impacts youth and the importance of helping students now to ensure their future success. Last year, Katy ISD presented a Legacy Parent Session: The Emotional Well-Being and the Referral Process. Access the power point presentation with resources here.
“The goal of the mental health alliances is to provide students with information, awareness, and resources on mental health topics, both in and outside of school,” says McHale-Miller. “They serve to bring awareness to their peers about mental health and destigmatize the topic so that any student who may be struggling, or knows of someone struggling, can get connected with support.”
Katy ISD students needing assistance should never feel alone. Reach out to a Katy ISD campus counselor or call Katy Connect 281-234-2326 or text 281-201-4430.
For other Katy resources, visit Katy Magazine's Counseling Services Guide.
“It’s essential for young people to be equipped with information and resources that support them not only academically, but socially and emotionally,” says McHale-Miller. “Our hope is that these student groups can be another voice to struggling students that they are not alone, and a connection in getting support.”