KILLEEN, TX — What started off in a band room at Killeen Junior High many years ago has grown into its own entity on Texas A&M Central Texas’ campus. Now, the university’s counseling center is expanding its roots into downtown Killeen at the Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas.
Dr. Sam Fiala, the department chair of counseling and physiology at the university, says depending on your normal stress relievers is okay, but seeking out help is important.
“Those [typical stress relievers] are great, but you can also use those resources to talk to somebody and get some support,” he said. “If more people did that more consistently, I think things would get better and the world may seem a little less dark.”
However, stigmas, money and access stand in the way for a lot of people looking for counseling services.
“For those who are uninsured or under-insured, there aren't many options out there for health care,” Dr. Fiala explained. “Even for those who are insured, a lot of plans don't cover health care, mental health care adequately.”
All of these reasons are why Texas A&M-Central Texas has partnered with the Boys and Girls Club in downtown Killeen. Now, mental health services can be found in the heart of the community.
“We're well on our way. We're building a lot of momentum to get ready to do this,” said Daniel Hall, vice president of resource development. “The community needs this, our families need this and the kids do as well.”
But like anything else, it’s going to cost. The project already has some funding but is still looking for $500,000 to $600,000 more.
If you would like to donate to the cause, you can text BGCTX to 26989 or you can go to the Boys and Girls Club websiteand make a donation.
To schedule an appointment or for mental health resources by Texas A&M-Central Texas, head over to the university's websitefor information.