AUSTIN, Texas — Austin ISD board members approved a new contract to help students get mental health assistance in schools.

At the Aug. 12 board meeting, trustees looked over proposals from three firms:

The board unanimously approved a new contract with the Vida Clinic worth just over $2 million. 

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A factor that helped board members decide on Vida Clinic was "the incumbent vendor’s successful history with Austin ISD providing high quality and cost-effective mental health services to students, family members, and staff at campuses throughout the district," according to their agenda notes

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Vida Clinic will be providing mental health care at clinics in 42 AISD schools to help students, staff and family members.

Some of the services Vida Clinic will provide will be immediate counseling for students, staff and family members, on-site intake within a 24-72 hour period, and being available during a time of crisis.  

This contract will last one year and have the opportunity to renew under the superintendent's approval. 

The trustees believe that this kind of care is vital.

"It not only provides that access, it reduces time outside the classroom and helps to reduce the stigma for seeking mental health services," said AISD Trustee Cindy Anderson.

The trustees also said that school mental health centers have served more than 6 thousand kids in this past year. 

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