At Crowley ISD, they believe health is wealth, and mental health is at the forefront of that.

The district will host its first in-person mental health symposium on Jan. 28 to bring the community together to discuss and attempt to find solutions for the mental health of students in Tarrant County.

If you go

What: Mental Health Matters Symposium at Crowley ISD

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 28

Where: Bill R. Johnson CTE Center, 500 Longhorn Trail, Crowley, TX 76036

Register here: https://www.crowleyisdtx.org/symposium  

Cost: Free

The free event is open to everyone and will start with a group prayer, Trina Harris, director of counseling services, said. The keynote speaker will be North Crowley High School graduate and former NFL player Trent Shelton. After, there will be a student panel and breakout sessions on a variety of topics.

There will be resource tables for families too. Representatives from MHMR of Tarrant County, Mental Health Connection Tarrant County, JPS Health Network and Cook Children’s.

Previously, Harris organized a similar, but virtual event for staff. Counselors also have participated in similar conferences.

The time is now for these conversations and mental health work with students, Harris said.

“We haven’t had proper grieving with losses during COVID-19. We didn’t have the proper social interactions,” Harris said. “There are so many issues I receive on a daily basis where, just, people are struggling.”

Students want to be heard, she said, and so do the adults who support the students.

Director of Support Programs John Hamlett hopes people are aware of the resources in the community and aware of mental health problems.

“There are a lot of people walking around in silence,” Hamlett said. “But also there are people that have been in a situation that has been very, very hard for them, that they become so numb that they can’t recognize what they’re going through.”

One reason the event has a community focus is so people also can learn how to support those who are dealing with mental illness, he said. Self-advocacy can be hard for people going through mental illness, so it’s important people learn how to advocate for their loved ones.

The team hopes public events like this also help eliminate the taboo around mental health so students feel comfortable seeking help, Harris said. 

Though it’s hosted by Crowley ISD, Hamlett said the symposium is for the community. He wants everyone to come together to discuss and solve these issues for students.

“It’s very important to remove the various different zip codes, various different community areas, various different schools, school districts,” he said. “This is not just Crowley ISD, but this is the whole community. When I say the whole community, I’m talking about the entire city. So we all can act like a family and work like a team.”


Kristen Barton is an education reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at kristen.barton@fortworthreport.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Kristen BartonEducation Reporter

Kristen Barton is an education reporter for the Fort Worth Report. She has previous experience in education reporting for her hometown paper, the Longview News-Journal and her college paper, The Daily...