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Local parents seek mental health resources for children

Posted at 6:36 PM, Aug 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-05 23:26:14-04

BRYAN, Texas — Through the pandemic, we’ve learned just how important mental health truly is for adults and our youth.

Mental health always matters and with it still being summertime, we see what resources are available here in the Brazos Valley.

“Kids…it’s really important too,” said “Kathryn “Nin” Emery, LPC-A at Thriveworks. “We’re seeing it in really young ages, whether it be an increase in anxiety or other symptoms. With teenagers, absolutely, they’re definitely feeling the stress.”

Emery said adults are showing up for children, supporting them.

“We’re seeing that adults are creating spaces for kids to also take care of their mental, whether that be body and mind, groups, activities, yoga, sports, but they’re not necessarily shoving just off the mental health stuff to the side anymore,” said Emery.

Julia Rios said after her daughter told her she wanted to see a counselor, she immediately looked for local resources.

“She came to me and she was open about it like ‘Mom, I feel like I need to talk to somebody,” said Julia Rios, a Local Bryan mom. “I want a therapist. I want a counselor.”

Emery says due to the high demand for children's counseling services she is filled with appointments, leaving people on a waitlist.

Rios said it was hard finding reasonable healthcare for her 14-year-old daughter, Alina, and turned to an online resource.

“It’s hard to find affordable counseling or therapists or whatever that takes Medicaid for low-income families,” said Rios.

Rios said her daughter would suffer from panic attacks at school.

Emery said one of the best strategies for anxiety regulation is getting a temperature change.

“If that’s not splashing cold water on your face, it’s stepping outside listening to the bird sounds, feeling the sun on your skin, feeling the breeze on your skin,” said Emery. “Those things are very grounding. It helps you separate from being all in your head and all the anxieties and the worries and just brings you back.”

Rios said her daughter has improved tremendously since starting counseling in April.

“Learning that she doesn’t have to hold it in and bottle it up,” said Rios. “She’s been through a lot and I’m proud of her."

Emery said kids show their stress through their actions.

“Kids show their stress and anxieties and worries or just general mental health stresses through behavior,” said Emery. “I think what parents need is a lot more confidence. They’re doing it right. They’re loving their kids and they’re doing it right. They just might need a little more guidance.”

She says sometimes your child just may need a quick consultation to hash it all out.

“If you feel like you’re struggling and you can tell, then talk to your adult, whoever that may be,” said Emery. “Your safe trusted adult, parent, teacher in school and let them know you’re struggling and you’d like someone to talk to.”

If you’re looking for local counseling services here in the Brazos Valley, Thriveworks offers online services via Telehealth to help with the high-demand counseling offices are seeing in the area.

Twin City Mission also offers free counseling through their Youth and Family Services Program.