September 24 2021 03:30 pm

Tracy Unified School District expands mental health services for returning students

Local News

TRACY, Calif. (KTXL) – The Tracy Unified School District announced they will have additional mental health services and support for students and families free of charge when students return to in-person learning on Aug. 9.

“I wish every school could have a mental health therapist five days a week on campus, especially now, coming out of the pandemic,” said marriage and family therapist Karen McCrary.

“We want them to know that we’re here for them and that we’re going to work through this together,” said Associate Superintendent Julianna Stocking.

Stocking says the district is contracting with different medical providers to expand mental health services. 

She says the demand was high for mental health services before the pandemic and they’re anticipating the need will be even greater this year as some may be dealing with stress, depression, grief and anxiety from COVID-19. 

“We take that very seriously, and we just want our students and families to know that we’re here to support them through this time,” Stocking explained.

Full-time counselors will now be available at every campus, five days a week offering individual or group counseling services. 

“It’s important in many ways because it helps the children know that there’s a safe place that they can go,” McCrary said.

The district knows there will be a transition period as students readjust to in-person learning with masks and other COVID-19 protocols still in place.  

“We’d like to shift that stigma from mental health to being something that’s wrong or negative, to really a point of wellness and a proactive manner to be healthy,” Stocking told FOX40.

The district says students and parents shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to their school administrators or teachers if they’re in need. 

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