According to Mental Health America, 19% of people in the United States are living with a mental health condition. That statistic includes children and adults who can benefit from community resources. 


Turning Point Staff Highlight
Cinthia Cortez

Cinthia Cortez is a Qualified Mental Health Professional for Turning Point in Harris County. In this role, she primarily supports children experiencing foster care through crisis intervention, acute stabilization, and psychiatric diversion by engaging the child or youth and their caregiver in reaching a common goal to keep everyone safe. She’s a pro at using therapeutic techniques, de-escalation tactics, natural supports, and community resources to prevent hospitalizations and loss of foster care placements.

Cinthia studied Psychology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. With the guidance of a professor, she landed her first job in the mental health field a year before graduating with her bachelor’s degree. For the first few years, she primarily worked with children experiencing foster care and went on to train as a Qualified Mental Health Professional. Cinthia has worked with children, adults with severe and persistent mental illness, individuals with substance use disorders, Spanish speaking and minority groups, as well as with youth involved in the juvenile justice system. As Cinthia continues to grow into her role with Pathways Youth and Family Services, she also looks forward to completing her Master’s of Social Work degree.

She donates her time to help families in her immediate community to utilize resources and gather donations for them when a need arises. Cinthia enjoys being with her family and looks forward to spending quality time with them.


Progressive Muscle Relaxation for Parents and Children

Cinthia has used her knowledge and experience of Progressive Muscle Relaxation to teach children and adults a unique method of grounding oneself in a moment of high stress or crisis. Cinthia educates them on how creating tension and releasing it in different areas of the body helps them focus on the sensation their body is experiencing, momentarily diverting their attention from triggering thoughts or other stimuli. Their body benefits from the release from tension, helping it return to a more relaxed state. 

Choose a quiet place, turn off your phone and dim the lights. Romance? No, soothing relaxation.

Sit or lie down, whichever is more comfortable. Let your hands rest by your side or on your lap. Close your eyes and breathe; slow, deep cleansing breaths in through the nose, hold it for a moment and out through the mouth. Feel your stomach rise and fall as each breath fills your lungs and you begin to exhale your tension and stress. Relax.

First breath, in and out. Second breath, third breath, fill your lungs, hold it and expel all the air from your lungs. You’re already more relaxed.

As your breathing rhythm returns to normal, relax....

As you begin, tense various muscles throughout the body but do not strain. Contract each muscle firmly, but gently, as you breathe in. If you are uncomfortable, just relax and breathe normally.

Think about your feet and toes. Breathe in, and as you do, curl your toes and tense the muscles in your feet. Hold your breath for just a few seconds and release the muscles in your feet as you breathe out. Feel the tension leave your feet as you exhale.

Take another deep breath, tense the muscles in your feet and hold it for a few seconds, and then release. With each breath, with each muscle, feel your body unwind.

Now concentrate on your lower legs. Draw a deep breath and tighten those muscles. Hold for a moment then let those muscles relax as you exhale.

Again, take in a deep breath...tighten your calf muscles, hold for a few seconds, and relax. Feel the tension lessen as you breathe out.

You will follow the same pattern as you focus on the muscles in your thighs, buttocks, feet, torso, stomach, spine, back, shoulders, neck, wrists, arms, hands, fingers, and facial muscles. 

Take your time, take some deep breaths, listen to the sounds around you feel the air as it fill your lungs and the weight of your body as you succumb to the tranquility of the relaxed body and mind.


Fun Muscle Relation Video for Children

Have you ever tried to get your child to relax? Do you want to relax and have fun? Join your child and watch Stressler and “Play” along!



Mindful Tots: Rest & Relax / Niños Mindful: Descansa y relájate (Niños Mindful)

Spanish Edition by Whitney Stewart (Author), Rocío Alejandro (Illustrator)

“In using this book with children, like my toddler, I have noticed that it provides bonding time, a method of identifying some anatomy and more importantly, learning how to relax tense areas of the body to prepare for a restful night of sleep.” – Cinthia Cortez

If you are interested in purchasing this great relaxation book for children click the link below.


Turning Point Exhibits at TACFS

Each year, community-based organizations from across the state gather together to learn about and promote best practices in the care and support services provided to children and families throughout the state of Texas. This event is the Texas Child Care Administrators Conference offered by the Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services. This is a wonderful opportunity for high-level training, networking, and learning about the numerous services available to children and families throughout the state. Pathways Youth and Family Services is a proud sponsor of the Texas Child Care Administrators Conference.

This year, Pathways is not only a sponsor, but also an exhibitor as well. This will be a great opportunity for attendees to visit the Pathways exhibit and learn more about our Turning Point program in Harris and Bexar counties. We look forward to sharing information about our community crisis intervention services for children experiencing foster care. If you are unable to attend, you can contact Kelly Lill, PhD, LMHC, LPC, LPCC Turning Point Clinical Director at 832-463-2948 or to learn more. You can also visit the Pathways Youth and Family Services website for more information about all of our services.


Mental Health and Wellbeing for Parents and Children:
A Tip from Dr. Karyn Purvis

Karyn Purvis was a professor at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX and is the co-creator of Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI). Dr. Purvis worked with “children from hard places,” believing that parental self-care was key. According to Dr. Purvis, self-care is not being selfish, but instead it is being wise. Healthy parents have the ability to give more to their children.

Watch the video link below where Dr. Purvis discusses “Gift 7: Give Your Child Healthy Parents with Good Self-Care”


Show your Support. There are many ways you can
make a difference in the life of a child.

Pathways Youth and Family Services
222 Sidney Baker Street South #435  | KerrvilleTexas 78028
210-733-7117 |

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