Director of Behavioral Health for RRISD Dr. Amy Grosso gave a presentation updating the district's school board on the program that has been in place for three years. Data presented by Grosso shows that 49% of student referrals to social workers during the program's third year were made for concerns around mental health. This is followed by behavior concerns and basic needs, both categories that make up 20% of social worker referrals, 7% significant family needs and 4% for substance use concerns.
"With mental health concerns, I often get asked what are we seeing in it," Grosso said. "It runs the gamut of everything—students who have lost a loved one, so there's a lot of grief work. We've seen a lot of students in CPS care of it because there's not enough foster homes; they're living at the CPS office."
The program also launched a new website the previous week, Grosso said, providing another way for district students and families to access services provided by the program. This information is now available at https://behavioralhealth.roundrockisd.org. Behavioral services is separate from the district's counseling services.
"Not all students are going to need it, though we're there for those who do," Grosso said. "Different students might need it at different points in their education."
Respectively, Places 6, 2 and 7 Trustees Tiffanie Harrison, Danielle Weston and Mary Bone expressed concerns that having behavioral health fall under public safety and policing is a poor fit.
"I understand the partnership, but I don't I don't understand why behavioral health has to be under safety and security and policing for it to be a partnership; I think should be a continued partnership," Harrison said. "I just think that the way it's structured is inappropriate. I want to get that feedback. I do not want to negate that I think that you're doing phenomenal work."
Discussion also turned to the district suicide rate. Grosso said this individual statistic was not currently available; however, it is certainly prevalent in teens across the country.