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Texans Can Academies Offers Free Telephonic Counseling for Enrolled Students and Families

Texans Can Academies Offers Free Telephonic Counseling for Enrolled Students and Families

March 31, 2020

With students being stuck at home, for the time being, many of them have no choice but live in an unsteady home life. From parental neglect to domestic abuse and drug addiction, some students are at a higher risk of experiencing abuse from home then they would be if they were in school.

For Texas Can Academies, a group of charter schools committed to helping struggling students stay in school, many students have preexisting issues that can be exacerbated by sheltering at home.

That’s why TCA is offering a free twenty-four-hour telephonic mental health service that any TCA student can use; if the student’s entire household demonstrates a need for counseling services TCA can offer group counseling, free of charge as well.

“Our students can deal with a whole host of issues,” said Jose Luis Torres, the executive director of Student Services at TCA. “Mental illness in the home, parental incarceration, domestic violence in the home, substance abuse in the home. We’re seeing a lot of tension.”

TCA works with students from ages 14-21, an age in which students readily rely on support systems that are normally found in school, often coming from their friends or school staff. When they’re out of school and stuck at home throughout the day, social isolation can incubate preexisting issues such as depression and anxiety.

Additionally, being quarantined adds extra anxiety surrounding not being able to attend prom or graduation or whether they can even be allowed to graduate in the spring in the first place. Many students have lost a necessary job.

“There’s a significant amount of stress, especially for seniors. They’re thinking about what they’re not going to be able to do. There’s no prom, there’s no commencement ceremony. They won’t be able to have their senior day,” said Torres. “If they have preexisting problems, they can get worse.”

TCA’s counseling services hope to help students work through how to handle this unusual and unsettling situation and to discuss any issues they may be having, big or small.

“One of the most critical things for kids is their sense of connectedness and belonging,” said Torres. “That belonging comes from school.”

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