Help & Hope for East Texas Youth. Next Step Community Solutions.

Providing help and encouraging hope for ETX students.
Published: Jan. 12, 2024 at 1:30 PM EST
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According to the Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas, suicide is the second leading cause of death for Texans between the ages of 10 to 24. This fact is disheartening and hard to fathom. Yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel for children, teens, and young adults alike. Next Step Community Solutions is a non-profit organization that aims to bring real, lasting encouragement to the youth of East Texas. With intentional in-school programs, Next Step has become a very present help for East Texas kids struggling with the weight of stress and trauma.


“We hear that suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people… but we don’t ever talk about what are the leading causes of life for young people, right?”

In an attempt of flipping the script, Brandon Davison, executive director, shares the mindset of Next Step. Rather than focusing on the negative aspects of mental health issues that today’s society tends to fixate on, the team at Next Step redirects these thoughts to center upon positivity and understanding. Next Step goes way beyond stating the facts. They are giving the youth of East Texas real hope.

“Help for Today. Hope for Tomorrow.” This is the motto for Next Step Community Solutions. Their mission is to support young people and give them practical ways to combat the stressors and lingering trauma in their lives. This is done by meeting students where they are at, with listening and care. Then, students are given tools and encouragement to keep going in their pursuit of life and joy.

We 💛 seeing how creative our peer leaders are when they come up with ways to talk to their classmates about Sources of...

Posted by Next Step Community Solutions on Tuesday, December 5, 2023


“We served a little over a thousand students last year with free individual counseling.”

Next Step Community Solutions has blossomed over the past decades. Originally in 1948, they began as the Sister Communities Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, or SCCADA. Their mission was to bring awareness and prevention of youth substance abuse. As time went on, the mission and passion only grew. Today, Next Step provides a wide range of programs to build up and point youth to hope. Their support comes in the form of mental health and prevention services.

Next Step’s mental health services provide three areas of help:
  • Counseling Services – This opportunity gives all youth an outlet for vulnerability and healing. Students are paired with a licensed professional counselor to walk through trauma and emotional barriers. Across the state, Next Step sets up these meetings in schools and probation offices.
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid – This 8-hour course provides education to the public on the real risk factors that mental health issues can have on teens. This program teaches the need for early intervention and how to help youth that have or currently experiencing crisis.
  • Sources of Strength – This program a positive and encouraging practice for youth suicide prevention. Harnessing the mindset of Next Step, Sources of Strength is built on revealing hope in the lives of students. With the use of fun and activities, damaging social norms and culture begin to shift into one that is uplifting for East Texas Youth.

The other area of engagement is Next Step’s prevention services. These coalitions are built to help provide support and care for youth that are struggling with substance abuse. By the strengths and resources of East Texas communities, these services teach students that they do not have to struggle alone. The coalitions that Next Step works with are both the Piney Woods Substance Abuse Coalition and the Coalition Against Substance Abuse. Altogether, their full team educates, raises awareness on substance abuse, and changes the environment of drug and alcohol access.

“It’s easier to add those supports around a young person and build up strengths than it is to take away a deficit sometimes.”

Next Step Community Solutions aims to add to what already exists in the lives of East Texas kids: joy, fun, excitement, and perseverance. Next Step is providing tangible help and lifelong hope to the lives of students. To learn more about their programs, how to get involved or donate, or if they are involved in a school district near you, visit them on their website, HERE!

Lastly, if you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, dial 988 for free and confidential help today.

Peltier Subaru Supports is the latest initiative at The East Texas Weekend created to highlight local non-profits around East Texas. Each month we will feature a new organization in our region to highlight their importance within our community. If you have an idea for our next feature, let us know by emailing to

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