Dallas ISD holding virtual mental health symposium for students

Dallas ISD is among the many school districts seeing an increase in students battling mental health issues.

To help fight the problem, the district is holding a virtual mental health symposium that anyone can join.

Jakaylah Gause and Selena Ocon, freshmen a Lincoln High School in South Dallas, say the pandemic has added to the stress teens already face during normal circumstances.

"We can’t experience life like we wanted as teenagers It makes us alone and sad," Jakaylah said. "Some have toxic family homes, relationship problems, school problems. Some are just sad."

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education said months of school closures have contributed to student anxiety and depression.

Dianna Smoot is the executive director of Dallas ISD's Mental Health Services.

"We've seen across the board more referrals for mental health services," she said.

To help the large numbers of people who may be on the fence about seeking help dealing with their emotions, Dallas ISD is organizing a virtual symposium that parents and students can attend.

"I can't run to my friends like I used to express my feelings," Selena said "I don't have anyone to talk to because they are not there."

The goal is to help everyone realize they are not alone, despite a lonely and often isolated year.

Anyone can register for Dallas ISD's Mental Health Symposium. It is Saturday, May 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Registration Link: https://mentalhealthmattersdallas.com/