BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Brownsville Independent School District (BISD) is providing free guidance and counseling for students and their parents. 

Sara Garza, Director of Guidance and Counseling said the initiative helped more than 300 students and staff last year.

Garza said the demand for mental health services is causing a delay in appointments for local mental health agencies.

To help out the situation, she said the district is continuing their guidance and counseling evening sessions for students and parents

“We offer these services as an extended day to our regular school day. These are certified school counselors that are providing these services,” said Garza.  

Garza said the 45-minute sessions are held at the BISD central administration building from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The sessions can be scheduled individually or in a family setting. 

“We work with our students and their parents, if the parents need assistance in working with their child, we can do a family session and the goal for our evening session is to help the student through any type of anxieties or stresses that are holding them back to be academically successful,” said Garza.

Garza said BISD educators also participate in sessions designed for them to help students who are victims of abuse. 

“They do training on how to report how to recognize signs of abuse, how to report those signs of abuse. They also do our training on trauma-informed care so they have an understanding of the impact of trauma on a student and how that correlates back to their learning,” said Garza.

According to Garza, the district is doing what it can to help its students succeed and feel safe.

She said evening sessions are free and encourages families to reach out and utilize their services. 

“The Brownsville ISD community can call in to find out more information and determine if these sessions would be a benefit to them, so we encourage those calls to come in to see how we can better serve our students and our families,” said Garza.

For more information, she encourages parents to call the guidance and counseling department at 956-548-8251. 

Walk-ins for the sessions are available, appointments are encouraged.