By Georgia Ferguson

Accessing free mental health services is just a phone call away for some East Dallas students.

The charter school, Texans Can Academies, provides a counseling hotline for Texas students at its 14 campuses, including those who attend the location at 4621 Ross Ave.

About 20 percent of teens aged 13 to 18 live with  mental illnesses, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. To provide students with the best possible care, the Texans Can Academies hotline is available 24/7 and offers free professional counseling and referrals to off-campus services.

“We see some of our students suffering daily from issues outside of school that affect their success in school,” Chief of Schools James Ponce said in a statement. “We also wanted to remove the stigma of asking for help by making it easily and confidentially accessible.”

All services are confidential.

Students under the age of 18 are required to have written consent from a parent or legal guardian to use the hotline.