In the wake of the pandemic and so many school shootings, especially in Uvalde, we continue to hear from grieving parents and others deeply concerned about their children's mental health. We know there is a strong correlation between substance us and poor mental health. Nationally, there were more than 107,000 overdoses in 2021, a new record, and North Texas typically mirrors national statistics.
We should all be worried for our youth. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed their lives at home, school and in the community, and the effect on their mental health is devastating. Any trauma they're experiencing now could have lasting implications for their futures.
On a brighter note, we received federal COVID relief funding this year, so that we've launched a new Health & Wellness program. It has been so rewarding to watch kids and adults alike receive much-needed stress relief this summer through our activities. Children are resilient, but we want to give them as much of a break as possible.
Health and safety is the foundation for our kids to make good decisions about whether to use alcohol and other substances. They rely on parents, teachers, coaches and other adults to help them. DPR provides direct services to youth in schools and in the community. We also have numerous tools and resources to help adults teach resiliency skills to the young people in their lives.
Your child. Your home. Your community.
DPR will work with you and your kids in schools, after-school settings and in the community to make sure your family is prepared to prevent substance use. While everyone is susceptible to the ravages of alcohol and other drugs, substance use disorders are 100 percent preventable.
Your support is the soil that germinates prevention in homes and communities.