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Laura Ortega visits her husband Eliberto Ortega’s grave on Día de los Muertos along with their seven-year-old son to pay their respects, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, in Houston. Eliberto died of cardiac arrest while sick with the coronavirus in July 2021. (Marie D. De Jesús / Houston Landing)

Grieving Houston-area students’ well-being at stake as federal COVID-19 funds fade

The federal stimulus money that helped fund many mental health positions in Texas schools will end in the fall of 2024.

by Asher Lehrer-Small, Houston Landing

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Laura Ortega helps her eight-year-old daughter study after school Sept. 27, 2023, at their east Houston home.

A family man

Photograph of Eliberto Ortega on top of his gravestone on the Día de los Muertos, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, in Houston. Ortega died of cardiac arrest while sick with the coronavirus in July 2021. (Marie D. De Jesús / Houston Landing)
Laura Ortega visits her husband Eliberto Ortega’s grave on Día de los Muertos along with their children to pay their respects, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, in Houston. Eliberto died of cardiac arrest while sick with the coronavirus in July 2021. (Marie D. De Jesús / Houston Landing)
Surrounded by walls covered with frame photos of her husband, Eliberto Ortega who died while battling COVID-19 in July 2021, closes her eyes before exiting the room to take care of her two children, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Houston. (Marie D. De Jesús / Houston Landing)

Mental health needs mount

‘They never call back’

A fiscal cliff

‘He’s watching them’

Laura Ortega closes her eyes as she looks at a framed  photo of her husband Eliberto Ortega, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, in Houston. Eliberto died of cardiac arrest while sick with the coronavirus in July 2021. (Marie D. De Jesús / Houston Landing)

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