HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – More counselors could be coming to school districts across Hays County. The county approved American Rescue Plan Act funds to help with mental health in schools back in October 2022.

Dripping Springs ISD Director of Counseling and Health Services Tisha Kolek said they could be awarded up to $200,000.

The DSISD school board passed the agreement at Monday’s meeting. Kolek said it’ll now be sent back to the Hays County court and they’ll be ready to start the hiring process.

She said right now they only have three counselors for eight campuses.

“That can have a licensed professional feel really stretched to visit three to four campuses in a week and work one-on-one with those identified students,” Kolek said.

This extra funding could nearly double their counselors and expand the hours they’re available.

“We’ll be able to hire two individuals through 2026 for this program in our school district. They would work with the family unit after school on the school campus. It’s going to be a bridge to extend that care beyond the traditional school day and hopefully into the family system,” Kolek said.

It’s a move DSISD parent Terri Purdi said is needed after all the challenges students faced tied to COVID-19.

“Mental health within the schools and on the campus is super important,” Purdi said. “For so many students, we’re seeing a lot of issues with the levels of stress and anxiety.”