State awarded $9 million grant to improve mental health services in schools

Warren, Bullitt and Henderson counties to get pilot project funding

Courtesy MGN Online

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Department of Education in partnership with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has announced, the award of a $9 million federal grant to increase awareness of mental health issues among Kentucky students across the state and in three pilot school districts.

KDE and the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, which is a part of  CHFS, will receive the Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education (AWARE) grant.  The funding is from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS). It will provide resources for three Kentucky school districts for the implementation of district-wide mental health policies and processes in Bullitt, Henderson, and Warren County public school districts. Kentucky is one of only four states receiving the award.

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The partnership will work to enhance school mental health supports, provide Youth Mental Health First Aid training, implement trauma informed practices and generally improve social emotional skills for all students in the districts. The project will serve 37,556 students annually for 5 years and impact 375 school administrators, 3292 school staff, and over 1000 parents and community members.

These efforts come at a critical time, as educators and communities begin implementing the requirements of Senate Bill 1 (2019), the School Safety and Resiliency Act. The legislation, which sought to improve the school safety climate in Kentucky through the increased use of both School Resource Officers (SROs) and mental health services, goes into effect on July 1.

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