Alongside Selected as a Mental Health Vendor for Texas Stronger Connections Grant

Vetted by the Texas Center for Student Supports, schools can implement Alongside to address the mental health crisis among adolescents.


SEATTLE (March 11, 2024) Alongside, a clinician-powered and AI-enabled mental health solution, has been selected by the Texas Center for Student Supports (TCCS) as an approved vendor for recipients of the Stronger Connections grant. Federally funded via the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) and disbursed by State Educational Agencies, these grants allow select school districts to implement Alongside as a resource to support their students’ mental health.

“The mental health crisis is of growing concern around the country as our districts and school staff continue to face funding challenges and staffing shortages,” said Jay Goyal, CEO of Alongside. “By implementing Alongside, districts will be alleviating some of the strain their counselors currently feel. We encourage Texas grant winners to pair increased staff initiatives with innovative approaches, like Alongside, that have high impact and sustainability beyond the grant period.”

Developed by clinicians and grounded in research, Alongside provides 24/7 mental health support through an AI-enabled chatbot that coaches students on issues ranging from test anxiety to friendship challenges to depression and grief. Alongside’s team of doctoral mental health experts and student interns codesign modules and activities that appeal to teens while ensuring the resources and content follow evidence-based practices and protect student privacy.

“Two years ago, Alongside was founded to combat the growing mental health crisis among students,” added Dr. Elsa Friis, Senior Director of Research and Development and Head of Mental Health at Alongside. “Since then, we’ve served students nationwide and continue to develop new features from daily mood trackers to journal prompts to informational videos, ensuring our students receive the support they need and want.”

Alongside’s one-of-a-kind model and AI tool appeals to teens in that it’s self-directed, judgment-free and offers instant relief. Alongside is a safe and private space that can be accessed whenever and wherever it’s needed. The tool can also triage and provide immediate relief for less severe issues, freeing up counselors to focus on more complex student cases.

“Our students experience a lot of anxiety around testing time and they may not feel comfortable talking to their parents, or their friends, or a counselor,” said Dr. Darren Cole, principal of Carlos F. Truan Junior High School in Elsa, TX. “The Alongside app gives them coping techniques and other tools to support them during these times and is a valuable resource for our students.”

For more information about Alongside, please visit

About Alongside

Alongside is a mental health app that provides personalized prevention and early intervention to secondary school students. Students can experience immediate relief with Alongside’s chatbot and in-app resources, which are created by a team of doctoral mental health experts and directly informed by evidence-based clinical models. The founders of Alongside previously founded Actively Learn, a K-12 digital curriculum company which was acquired by McGraw Hill in 2021. Alongside was founded in April 2022 to reduce adolescent anxiety, depression and suicidality. Learn more by visiting


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