VISION, MISSION & GOALS
The Mental Health Services (MHS) Department maintains the mission of supporting students' academic success through a variety of services focused on emotional, behavioral and physical wellbeing.
MHS strives to increase equity across our communities by providing school-based and clinic-based health services. These services address physical and mental health concerns, including those related to depression, anxiety, academics, and family dynamics. Through the provision of services, we promote positive health and overall wellbeing, as well as the academic success of our students.
In the early 1970s, the Psychological and Social Services Department (PSS) began providing on-campus mental health services. The program’s goal was improving a student’s academic achievement and wellbeing by providing positive behavioral support. Services were comprehensive and multidisciplinary, including individual/group/family counseling, crisis intervention, consultation, and training.
In 1993, Dallas ISD and Dallas MHMR established a comprehensive school-based mental health clinic, beginning the Youth and Family Center (YFC) Program. The YFC Program was created to improve access to care and promote the physical and emotional wellbeing of children and their families. Later, in 1995, Dallas ISD and Parkland Health and Hospital System combined resources to provide cost-effective, accessible, quality physical and mental health care services.
Following the turn of the millinium, particulalary during the years between 2007-2013, the Youth and Family Centers experienced additional growth and expansion, with several additional clinics opening across the city. Additionally, some existing programs were relocated to spaces that offered additional expansion and the ability to better serve our population.
The departments of Psychological and Social Services (PSS) and Youth and Family Centers (YFC) merged to form one cohesive team in July of 2020, thus, the conception of the Mental Health Services Department. These teams focus on the whole child and assist with mental, emotional, social, and physical development to allow students to achieve educational success. In January of 2021, the District's Threat Assessment Team joined MHS.
HOW WE'RE DIFFERENT
The MHS team works collaborately with other departments within Dallas ISD, including, but not limited to the Special Education, Counseling, Social and Emotional Learning, and Parent Engagement Departments. While each department pursues the goal of providing appropriate services to help students achieve academic success, each of these departments has separate functions, to ensure this goal is met.
If you believe your student may need services that are unrelated or not directly related to mental or physical health, please follow up with the appropriate department: Section 504, Special Education, Dyslexia Services, Counseling, Social Emotional Learning, Homeless Education, Alcohol & Drug Intervention, Parent Advocacy & Support Services.
CENTRAL OFFICE LEADERSHIP
Dianna Smoot, Executive Director
Jennifer Reed, Director, Clinical Services
Connie Rodriguez, Director, Operations
Keith Forte, Director, Threat Assessment Team