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Image for Hillsborough Schools to Launch First-in-the-Nation  Mental Health Career Track for High School Students

Hillsborough Schools to Launch First-in-the-Nation Mental Health Career Track for High School Students

March 10, 2020

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tanya Arja
Office of Communications

Tampa, Fla. – (March 10, 2020) – A new program beginning next school year will prepare students for careers in mental health services, including in-demand positions such as psychologists, social workers and guidance counselors. 

As our country faces a national shortage of mental health care workers, this program will address the needs of our community while opening students’ eyes to careers in this high-demand field. The mental health provider course track will be offered to students at Tampa Bay Technical High School and Leto High School.

At Tampa Bay Tech, students who are part of the medical magnet program can choose the mental health track geared towards careers in the mental health field. It is believed Tampa Bay Technical High School will be the first magnet school in the country with a mental health course track.

School Board Member Karen Perez, who holds a Masters in Social Work and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, began the conversation about adding this course track.

“I’m very excited to open this new pathway of education to our students in preparing them for the profession of the mental health field. Increasing the numbers of mental health professionals, including bilingual professionals, is the first step to empowering our families,” said Board Member Karen Perez.

While many high schools offer psychology classes, this track will delve deeper into mental health care professions. This path will open a new world for students coming out of high school with a career to follow in college. Students will have the opportunity for internships and to learn from local mental health partners for a complete glimpse into the different career options.

Board Member Perez believes this new educational opportunity will help our students, families and our entire community by destigmatizing mental health issues while helping to create the next workforce addressing mental health issues in this country.


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