Volume 1. Issue 7.
August 2019
Isabella Goes to Washington
"Isabella" has been with Communities In Schools of the Dallas Region (CISDR) since she was in 6th grade. She was referred to us for failing core classes, but was mainly struggling with her parents' divorce. Isabella would often fall asleep in class or struggle to focus after staying up late caring for her younger brother. Going back and forth between both parents had a drastic effect on Isabella's mood and behavior while at school. She struggled with controlling her anger and often withdrew from her peers.
Signs of Depression and Anxiety

When CISDR staff first began working with Isabella, they noticed signs of depression and anxiety. She had a rocky relationship with her mother and often vented about how she felt as if she had no value and didn't feel that she could ever be successful. CISDR worked with her daily to help her rewrite her own story, encouraging her to pursue a college education.

In seventh grade, Isabella continued to struggle with depression. While she was making more efforts to plan for the future, (she decided on pursuing an art degree from UNT,) she was constantly doubting herself and lashing out at peers. CISDR staff provided Isabella with a coping skill in the form of journaling, where she was able to express her feelings without the fear of being judged by others. Still, Isabella's school attendance decreased, and CISDR had difficulty making contact with her parents, with multiple phone calls and home visits going unanswered.

An Ominous Note

One day, a couple of Isabella's peers came to the CISDR office with note cards from her backpack. The words and images on the note cards suggested that she was having thoughts of suicide. CISDR immediately notified campus admin staff. The school counselor and district social worker conducted a home visit, which was unsuccessful. They then asked CISDR to conduct a home visit, hoping that they would answer to a familiar face, but that too was unsuccessful. The school admin team then decided to get the police involved to conduct a wellness check on Isabella.

Isabella returned to school the following day and stated that she was in fact having suicidal thoughts, but was committed to meeting with the school psychologist on a weekly basis as well checking in with CISDR daily. Her attendance slightly improved and she seemed to look forward to meeting with her psychologist and CISDR Site Coordinator. Isabella continues to be an outstanding young woman, who cares more about the well-being of others than herself.

Do the Write Thing

CISDR staff convinced Isabella to write an essay for the "Do the Write Thing" Challenge. She looked at it as another way to express herself, similar to the journaling that she had practiced throughout the year. In her essay, Isabella spoke about bullying, and how receiving help can lessen the burden of bullying and negative thoughts.

Isabella's essay was selected as a winning entry, and she got to fly out to Washington, DC as one of two National Ambassadors from the Dallas region. While in Washington, Isabella and her family got to see a world outside of their neighborhood, meeting with Sen. Ted Cruz and the Harlem Globetrotters. We hope that Isabella's experiences with CISDR and the "Do the Write Thing" Initiative help her succeed as she moves into high school.

How You Can Help

There are thousands of other students like Isabella in our community. Click the button below to donate to CISDR, so we can continue to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.
Thank You to Our School Supply Donors
Thank you to everyone who helped change the picture this fall by donating to our Back to School Supply Drive. Special thanks to our major donors and their employees: Boeing, Capital One, CISDR Leadership Council, Coram Management, David Weekley Homes, Horton Controls Group, Saulsbury Industries and Tidel Engineering, as well as a generous anonymous donor. Thanks in part to them, our students will be better prepared for the 2019-20 school year!
Mark Your Calendar for North Texas Giving Day
North Texas Giving Day is less than a month away! Join us on Thursday, September 19, 2019 for the Dallas region's biggest annual giving event. All day from 6 am to midnight, there will be chances for CISDR to earn matching donations with your qualifying gift. Please bookmark and share the link below, so you and your friends can "Get Up and Give" to CISDR. You can even set up your own "FUNdraising" page so you can see how much you've raised for CISDR. Click below to learn more:
Mental Conditions Do NOT Always Mean Violence
In listening to the various media including cable news, social media and almost anything on the Internet, you would be convinced that society is awash in mentally ill people roaming the streets seeking to do violence upon any group or person of opportunity. This is not to say there aren't troubled people in society who are violent, but most people with mental illnesses are not.

A study by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston looked into the association between gun violence and mental health in a group of 663 young adults in Texas. Their results were published in the journal Preventive Medicine.
Debunking the Myth

"Counter to public beliefs, the majority of mental health symptoms examined were not related to gun violence," said Dr. Yu Lu, a postdoctoral research fellow at UTMB and the lead author of the study.

What researchers found instead was that individuals who had gun access were approximately 18 times more likely to have threatened someone with a gun. Individuals with high hostility were about 3.5 times more likely to threaten someone.

"We have a strong responsibility as researchers who study mental illness to try to debunk that myth," says Dr. Jeffrey Swanson, a professor of psychiatry at Duke University. "I say as loudly and as strongly and as frequently as I can, that mental illness is not a very big part of the problem of gun violence in the United States."

The overwhelming majority of people with mental illnesses are not violent, just like the overwhelming majority of all people in general. Only 4% of the violence — not just gun violence, but any kind — in the United States is attributable to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression (the three most-cited mental illnesses in conjunction with violence). In other words, 96% of the violence in America has nothing to do with mental illness, according to Swanson.

A Whole Host of Risk Factors

Another study published in Health Affairs shows how the news perpetuates this narrative, and that proportion was pretty much consistent across the 19 years from 1994 to 2014. However, stories connecting mental illness with mass shootings specifically increased from 9% between 1994 and 2004 to 22% between 2005 and 2014.

"This is one of the hardest distinctions to make," says Dr. Emma McGinty, the lead author on the study and a professor of health policy at Johns Hopkins University, "Anyone who kills someone else in a mass shooting scenario or otherwise is not what we would consider mentally healthy. But that does not mean they have a clinical diagnosis and therefore a treatable mental illness. There could be emotional regulation issues related to anger, for example, which are a separate phenomenon. There could be underlying substance use issues. There could be a whole host of other risk factors for violence going on."

How You Can Help

How can you recognize when a child or teenager is at risk of self-harm or threatening others? Get certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid, and learn how to "say something" when you "see something." Sessions are open to all members of the community 18 and over, such as teachers, counselors, and parents, and anyone else who deals regularly with youth. Join us, get certified, and possibly save a life. Click the button below to register today.
Kendra Gives Back to Communities In Schools
Once again, Kendra Scott Jewelry has partnered with Communities In Schools of Texas as part of its Kendra Gives Back initiative. Join us on Thursday, September 5, 2019 from 5 pm to 8 pm at any of the four locations below. Enjoy light refreshments while shopping and speaking to CISDR staff. During the event, 20% of your purchase will go directly to CISDR. And if you can't make it, Kendra Scott will take your phone order during this time. We hope to see you there!
Locations Donating to CISDR
Allen Watters Creek
888 Watters Creek Blvd
Allen, TX 75013

Preston Center
8383 Preston Center Plaza, Ste 160
Dallas, TX 75225
Shops at Legacy Plano
5800 Legacy Dr, Ste C3
Plano, TX 75024

West Village
3699 McKinney Ave, Ste 105B
Dallas, TX 75204
Join Us at the Vibha Dallas Dream Mile
Come join CISDR at the Vibha Dallas Dream Mile at Brookhaven College (3939 Valley View Ln, Farmers Branch, TX 75244) on Saturday, September 7 at 7:30 am. Now in its 16th year, the Dream Mile 5k/10k Run and 5K Walk in Dallas helps increase awareness about the plight of underprivileged children. Please come and participate in this event, so that we can all bring a smile to the faces of kids across the Dallas region! Click the button below to register today!
New Sponsors for CISDR Golf Tournament
This month, we welcome several new sponsors to the CISDR Golf Tournament. Thank you to Gold Sponsors Aon, BKD, and Ernst & Young, Silver Sponsors Dallas Children's Charities, Bonnie Martin & Karl Schmalz, Three Box Strategic Communications and Wilson Schoellkopf, as well as Golfer Gift Sponsor Marsh. Come join them, along with Title Sponsor Flowserve and Presenting Sponsor Ryan, at Hackberry Creek Country Club on Monday, September 30.
Click the button below, or contact James Fisher, Chief Development Officer at 214-827-0855 ext. 267 or cisdev@cisdallas.org to learn how you can become a sponsor today!
Support Students with Amazon Smile
There are many ways to support Communities In Schools of the Dallas Region. In addition to making a donation, volunteering on a campus, and getting trained in Mental Health First Aid, you can use the link below to select CISDR as your Amazon Smile charity of choice. Amazon will then donate 0.5% of your purchases to us. Every bit helps to support our students!

Upcoming CISDR Trainings & Events
September 2019
  • Thursday, September 5: Kendra Gives Back Fundraising Event
  • Saturday, September 7: Vibha Dream Mile Fun Run 5k/10k
  • Friday, September 13: Youth Mental Health First Aid
  • Thursday, September 19: North Texas Giving Day
  • Monday, September 30: 8th Annual CISDR Golf Tournament

October 2019
  • Saturday, October 19: Youth Mental Health First Aid
Stay Connected to Our Community!
Thank you for taking the time to catch up with CISDR. Please visit cisdallas.org to learn more about us, and stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Our Mission
The mission of Communities In Schools of the Dallas Region is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.