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NISD uses small group counseling to help mental health of students

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SAN ANTONIO - Northside Independent School District is growing their small group counseling as the emotional needs of students are identified.

During the 2016-2017 school year, 11,431 students completed small group counseling. Some of the group topics include self-esteem, anger management, grief, military deployment and incarcerated parents.

"What we know is that if students are not well emotionally that they are not going to attain to academics," said Kimberly Ridgley, Director of Guidance and Counseling Department at NISD. "There's not a lot of learning that can happen unless they are well emotionally."

The different types of small groups are established as emotional issues among students change.

"I would say children as a whole struggle more now with issues that you and I didn't face," Ridgley said. "When you have a computer in your lap, on your phone, you're susceptible to much more."

The sessions are 30-45 minutes each and last 6-8 weeks. The small groups help students cope.

"increase their mental health, increase their ability to problem solve, resiliency skills, also the ability to identify that there hope and that this situation doesn't define you forever," Ridgley said.

Ridgley said there is a stigma associated with mental illness among children.

"It's important that even from a community level that we recognize that a child's mental is as important as their physical health," Ridgley said.

If your child is in need of emotional support or group counseling, please contact a campus guidance counselor. More information, here.

Students will be pre-screened for appropriateness of this service and can be grouped by commonality.

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