Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Announces $7.2 Million for SCAN to Support Mental Health Awareness and Resiliency at Laredo ISD

The AWARE Project will benefit students and their families, as well as school district employees

Washington | Arturo Olivarez, DC Press Secretary (956-970-1441), January 19, 2023

Laredo, TX– Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced $7,200,000 for Serving Children and Adults in Need (SCAN) and Laredo Independent School District (LISD) to implement the SCAN-LISD Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education (AWARE) Project in Laredo. Through the project, SCAN will provide school-based services to improve mental health and combat substance use among students in Laredo ISD.

“Due to the shortage of mental health professionals – psychiatrists, psychologists, and licensed counselors – children in Webb County face significant barriers to mental health identification and treatment. Furthermore, as a border community, we face unique social and political challenges that increase vulnerability,” said Congressman Cuellar. “This federal funding addresses the problem by allowing a quality organization, like SCAN, to work directly with our schools to implement crucial prevention strategies. With the SCAN-LISD AWARE Project, students, staff, and their families don’t have to travel outside of their school district to seek the mental health resources they require. I want to thank SCAN CEO, Isela Dabdoub, and LISD Superintendent, Sylvia Rios, for their leadership in addressing this important issue within our community.” 

“SCAN is excited to have been awarded this funding from SAMHSA to implement the SCAN-LISD AWARE Project. This project in partnership with the LISD will expand SCAN prevention, intervention, and treatment services in LISD schools,” said SCAN CEO Isela Dabdoub. 

“We are fortunate to be supported by a community who believes it is our responsibility to support the academic as well as the mental health of our students as they pursue their education and career goals in our schools.  On behalf of the LISD Board of Trustees and our LISD community, we are grateful for this grant award and for the opportunity to work with our community partners, “  said Dr. Sylvia G. Rios, LISD Superintendent of Schools.

The program will benefit an estimated 15,600 students and employees.

The primary goals of the project are to:

  1. establish and maintain an Advisory Board that meets in an ongoing manner;
  2. assemble a specialized team made to conduct a detail needs assessment and generate a formal report;
  3. develop an implementation based on the needs assessment that includes a three-tiered public health model; 
  4. implement the plan to ensure that students are provided with access to evidence-based universal and secondary prevention strategies and tertiary intervention strategies; 
  5. provide students’ parents and other adult caregivers with access to universal prevention strategies; 
  6. provide school employees with access to Mental Health First Aid and Psychological First Aid for Schools training; 
  7. develop a plan to sustain the project after federal funding ends; 
  8. and integrate the project with the Webb County Community Coalition to help create awareness of the project and enhance efforts to link students to community resources.