In July, Austin ISD awarded Integral Care a grant of $52,681 to provide Mental Health Supports to the Austin ISD Alternative Learning Center (ALC) for FY21. With this funding, Integral Care will deliver coordinated, layered services – including case management, assessment, and treatment – to students who have suspected substance abuse issues and their families. As substance use disorders often co-occur with mental health/emotional challenges, services will also include integrated, evidence-based mental health care. To provide these services, Integral Care will hire a bilingual clinician with experience working with youth and families to work at the ALC. The clinician will be experienced in working with diverse populations and culturally responsive to the needs of the youth and the family.

At any time, the provider may refer the student to additional services on campus (e.g. School Mental Health Centers), in the community, or within Integral Care’s system of care. If needed, students can access ongoing services through Integral Care, such as long-term outpatient therapy and psychiatric or crisis services. The provider at ALC can serve as access points for this system of care, connecting students, staff and families to a wide array of services that meet their individual needs.

Parents and guardians will also receive Integral Care’s support through psychoeducation, family therapy, and case management. Family therapy will engage the family and help create a supportive infrastructure for the student. Families will be able to work through issues such as safety concerns, triggers, communication challenges, and conflict in the home, all of which can impact the student’s behaviors and substance use patterns. The provider can meet with student and family at school, in the community, or in the home. Parents or caregivers will be referred to services and made aware of resources as needed.