Grants to Expand Mental Health Services in Schools
Today, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced that Madison Metropolitan, Stoughton Area, and Sun Prairie Area School Districts will receive grants from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for the 2018-19 school year to expand school-based mental health services. Madison Metropolitan and Sun Prairie both were awarded $75,000, and Stoughton was awarded $66,836.
Grant funds may be used for a variety of services on a continuum from universal wellness activities for an entire school to intensive intervention for students in crisis. Grant proposals included activities to:
- Develop and support student and staff social and emotional wellness,
- Increase staff capacity to create trauma sensitive environments,
- Provide training to staff and students to recognize mental health challenges and know how to advocate for themselves and others,
- Provide student support groups led by school and community mental health providers,
- Develop referral processes to ensure students who need additional support are referred to qualified providers,
- Create spaces in schools for community mental health providers to work with students, and
- Provide guidance to students and families to access multiple systems and supports.
State Superintendent Tony Evers said, “This grant is a good start toward student mental health needs. But, we absolutely must do more to address student mental health so our kids have the support they need to be successful in school and eventually their communities.”
NAMI Dane County applauds these efforts but notes that Mount Horeb School District also applied for these funds yet did not receive them. In the wake of a string of youth suicides in their community this past year, we acknowledge how helpful these funds could have been as the district works with community providers, parents, and students to ensure future tragedies do not occur.