Schools are a big part of helping kids who are struggling with mental illness.
"One of the silver linings from the terrible situation that was the pandemic was the fact that districts now had increased awareness on the mental health of our young people and districts really realized what their full potential role was in providing mental health support to students, and they had extra funding to go and make some of the innovations that they wanted to make for a long time," said Duncan Young, CEO of Effective School Solutions, an organization that partners with districts to help them implement mental health programs.
Long-term funding for mental health programs will be an issue many district face. Some of the funding they received from the federal government is set to expire in September 2024.
"While the funding is expiring, the mental health challenges that young people are experiencing are not expiring, and that's why, you know, a real urgency, I think, to get more knowledge and awareness out to district leaders about how they can fund the initiatives like this in a sustainable way," Young stated.
The U.S. Department of Education recently announced more than $188 million in grants to help schools hire and train more school mental health professionals. The money will be distributed to more than 170 grantees in over 30 states.
“These new awards will help connect more students in need to school-based mental health services now and ensure a pipeline of trained professionals to support students in the future," said Susan Rice, domestic policy advisor to the president.