Lake Travis ISD targets mental health, emotional learning improvements

Jennifer Lyon provided the board of trustees with updates to the district's social and emotional learning department.

Jennifer Lyon provided the board of trustees with updates to the district's social and emotional learning department.

The number of counselors at Lake Travis ISD increased from seven to eight in the 2019-20 school year, reducing the workloads for department staff, LTISD officials said at a board of trustees meeting Oct. 16.

“Suicide is the second leading cause of death for individuals between the ages of 15 and 24 years old ... We have to be aware of that," said Jennifer Lyon, the LTISD director of social and emotional learning.

The district has also hired a licensed social worker, Katherine Patten. LTISD has begun implementing necessary procedures for using the services. All counselors, nurses and campus administrators have received new training in a suicide prevention screening program for students, which has been used multiple times this year, Lyon said.

The district has also implemented crisis counseling protocol in the event there is a campus loss, trauma or grief. According to Lyon, the district only began implementing this social and emotional curriculum in the 2018-19 school year.

“We have room to grow, but we have built on some success,” Lyon said, adding that there has been a slew of recently passed mental health bills the district will begin implementing them shortly.
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