Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,000,000)
Application Category: Category 2, All Other Eligible Applicants: (1) training on preventing violence and/or (2) threat assessment/intervention teams and/or technology (anonymous reporting apps, etc.)
Eligibility: Independent School Districts
Funding Request: $1,000,000.00
In the past three years, the number of violent crimes in the City of McAllen, TX, has increased by 33%.3 A 2015 Gallup Poll survey indicates over 51% percent of McAllen residents said they feel unsafe walking alone at night in the area, the highest percentage among the 189 metro areas that were surveyed. McAllen ISD and the community feel the community violence negatively impacts students. Several research studies indicate that school children exposed to neighborhood violence can have a tougher time learning, experiencing more stress and depression and tend to have increased discipline issues.
McAllen ISD will design and implement a comprehensive school and community-wide training programs which will promote a successful and safe learning environment and educating school personnel and students to prevent student violence.
Evidence-Based Program: The theoretical underpinnings of the McAllen ISD proposed training program development utilizes tenets from two evidence-based programs.
Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) evidence-based program is a cognitive and behavioral therapy group intervention program designed for reducing children’s symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder and depression caused by exposure to violence.
The Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) program is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, as well as other caring citizens how to help an adolescent who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. YMHFA is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. The program introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations.