Let's Face It. Together. news release

Mental Health Program celebrates partnership to bring free services to local schools
Posted on 10/10/2023

A new mental health initiative is taking root in the San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD) as the “Let’s Face It. Together.” campaign enters its first full year of operation in the seventh largest school district in San Diego County.  

The unique program is a collaborative effort between the City of San Marcos and SMUSD and works to connect students in need of mental health services in a variety of ways and aims to break down stigmas around mental health, which have historically been barriers to getting help.  

Students in all grade levels in the district are eligible for the program. They may access mental health support directly by texting “SMUSD” to “741741” which connects them with mental health support 24/7. Students are also encouraged to speak with school counseling staff or by talking to a trusted faculty member. Additionally, students may also be referred to newly established Wellness Teams comprised of school-based mental health providers and family liaisons who are prepared to help students obtain the support they need on a variety of issues. Lastly, the program consists of resource navigation through Care Solace, which helps students and families get connected with healthcare providers in our community.  

“Our hope is that this program comes as a much-needed antidote for the mental health crisis facing our youth today,” said San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones. “It is an absolute honor to be able to support this worthy program. I can’t think of many better investments for our future.” 

The program was initially rolled out in January 2023, announced and advertised through email, social media, posters and artwork, brochures, flyers, campus announcements and visits from district staff. To date, the program has accomplished: 

  • 68 conversations on the 24/7 Crisis Text Line 

  • 359 consultations and 124 home visits by the Wellness Team 

  • 268 appointments and 636 total Care Solace cases  

  • 39,905 total Care Solace communications and 1093 hours logged (calls, emails, texts, etc.) 

“We are so grateful for the City’s partnership so we can proactively address the mental health and wellness of our nearly 20,000 students in San Marcos,” said SMUSD Deputy Superintendent Dr. Tiffany Campbell. “The pandemic underscored what was an already growing need in this space, and the data indicates that mental health continues to remain a prominent need for our youth.” 

“This program gave me confidence and hope when walking around school through the positive posters around me and influenced me to get help for the issues I was struggling with,” said Claudia Brion, SMUSD high school student. “Additionally, I am so grateful that the people behind this program have given me a voice and allowed me to share my passion for, and ideas on, improving mental health knowledge and resources for students.” 

Students and families are still encouraged to call 988 immediately in case of a mental health emergency.   

Since its launch, the program has been recognized with several awards for its creativity and innovation including two international Hermes Creative Awards and a national award from the City-County Communications and Marketing Association.    

The campaign was designed and implemented by Carlsbad-based marketing and communications firm JPW Communications. 

For more information on the program, please visit smusd.org/mentalhealth. For media inquiries, please contact Amy Ventetuolo at [email protected].