UT School of Social Work Addresses Mental Health for Middle Schoolers

August 30, 2011 at 10:15 am Leave a comment

Mental health and physical health are two sides of the same coin.  So why is it that it’s hard to escape messages about one when the public is almost silent on the other?  Mental health has long been stigmatized not just in the United States, but around the world.  If you admit to having a mental illness, it’s as if society has smacked a giant label that reads “CRAZY” on your forehead.  And yet, mental illness is incredibly commonplace; according to the National Institute of Mental Health, in any given year 26.2% of adults and 46.3% of 13- to 18-year-olds suffer from some form of mental illness, the most prevalent being anxiety disorders.

East Austin Prep is working to eliminate mental illness stigma while caring for the mental health of its middle students by offering counseling provided by the UT School of Social Work.  In neighborhoods like East Austin, where a large proportion of families are living in poverty and the unemployment rate is astronomical, it is especially important that kids have access to mental health resources.  Social work interns at East Austin Prep are readily accessible to students for one-on-one counseling, group counseling, and specialized counseling for children of incarcerated parents and stress management.

Good health is part of the foundation for living a happy, successful life, and mental health – though oft overlooked – is just as key a component to good health as physical fitness.  By offering mental health resources at the middle school level, East Austin Prep and the UT School of Social Work are doing their part to break the mental illness taboo and ensure that students have the resources they need to address any mental health issues they may be dealing with.

– Kelle Kampa
Communications Intern
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Entry filed under: East Austin Children's Promise, EAustin College Prep Academy.

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