Campus and Community Resource Team works to meet student mental health needs in the local school district
NEISD said it was one of the first districts in the state to dedicate a team of officers to the mental health needs of students and community outreach.
SAN ANTONIO – Fight mental health issues with the badge. North East ISD has launched a new police unit. NEISD said it was one of the first districts in the state to dedicate a team of officers to the mental health needs of students and community outreach.
The unit will be called the âCampus and Community Resource Teamâ or CCRT. It will be composed of seven officers focused on the mental health needs of students. School district police chief Wally McCampbell said officials began discussing the team six months ago.
âDuring the time that the kids were virtual, we were seeing an increase in the mental health issues that the kids were having,â he said.
McCampbell said officials made home visits during virtual learning to help students with mental health issues during segregation.
âJust being able to cope,â he said. “And then you have self-harm. You had suicide risks.”
Over the summer, leaders decided to create this unit as students returned this year for in-person learning.
âSo now they’re gone and adjusted to that — how are they going to adjust to this role in person,â he said.
McCampbell said officers like Diana Rodriguez volunteered for the special unit. Officer Rodriguez wants to break down these barriers between officers and students, and she is already making a difference.
âThey don’t really see me as a policeman, they see me as an adult they trust,â she said. “Without this confidence, we cannot do our jobs effectively.”
A CCRT officer will be stationed in each of the district’s seven high schools, but the goal is to help primary and middle school students as well. Chief McCampbell said assistance will vary.
âWhether it’s some kind of medicine, medicine, food,â he said. So it’s more than mental health. We’re like a full service going side to side. “
Officers will also wear regular, regular clothing and work with school counselors to connect students with resources.