Slaton ISD Superintendent: TWITR program is a necessity for rura

Slaton ISD Superintendent: TWITR program is a necessity for rural school districts

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SLATON, Texas -

Funding for mental health care in schools was one of the state legislature's top priorities this session.

Specifically, it is the expansion of the TWITR program.

It stands for Telemedicine, Wellness, Intervention, Triage, and Referral.

Its purpose is to intervene with junior high and high school students who may be at risk for harm to themselves or others.

However, The San Antonio Express News indicated the state is putting all of its eggs in one basket with $5 million in funding for this program.

Slaton ISD Superintendent Julee Broscoff said critics of this program need to focus on the big picture. 

"When we make mental health a subject about money, I don't think you can put a price on mental wellness. You can't put a price on that," Broscoff said.

Especially for rural school districts, Broscoff said this program is the difference in getting access or not.

"To be able to have psychiatry as an option for our families, it's one of those things that you know an expert has looked and can prescribe treatment. If you're 60 miles from the closest small town, you don't have time," Broscoff said.

She added school safety reform means nothing if the mental health of students is not taken care of. 

"We've got to intervene on mental health earlier. Mental health is the key to school safety. So when we start fighting over rural vs urban, that doesn't help matters," Broscoff said.

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