Closure of Mental Health Clinic Takes Toll on Teens 1/10/13
CBS 7 News
January 10, 2013
Midland, TX- Heather mason the crisis counselor for Midland Independent School District sees troubled teens on the regular basis.
“Issues with peers, issues at home, drug and alcohol abuse, everything,” she said.
But when students are on the edge of breaking down, they were referred to BCA of the Permian Basin, a low cost mental health clinic, which a month ago closed down.
“BCA was easy for our parents and our students to commit to because they are local,” Mason explained.
A new company, The Allegiance Specialty Hospital has now taken over.
The problem is Allegiance does not work with teenagers.
The closest thing to it is the inpatient facility in San Angelo nearly two hours away.
The closure is creating problems all over the Midland-Odessa area.
“If the student is feeling suicidal or they're wanting to hurt someone else or themselves it's an emergency state that's when they need to go to inpatient,” Mason said, “Time is of the essence.”
Many parents say they pray they wont need the service. Traveling expenses alone would be overwhelming.
“It’ll be better if we had something locally that'll be a good idea,” said, Imelda Gonzalez a mother of a sophomore.
“It’s hard to be away from your child when they are in need,” Mason said.
Many teens say it’s hard enough to admit to a problem and the inconvenience of location just adds to the issue.
“It puts a lot of pressure,” Hope Garcia said, “If they don't tell their families it'll be extra hard.”
“It’s crazy to me,” sophomore Justin Garcia said, “That's pretty long to travel for something you need immediately solved.”
There is still help out there here is a resource list for parents:
MHMR (432) 570-3300
Midland Mental Health Deputies (432) 688-4635
NMH Emergency Room (432) 685-1555
Rivercrest Hospital 1-800-777-5722
Centers for Children and Families (432) 570-1084
Heritage Counseling Services (432) 685-3787
Samaritan Counseling Center (432) 563-4144
Crisis Hotline Numbers:
Texas Youth Hotline: 1-800-210-2287
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
MHMR Local Hotline (432) 570-3300