BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) – For years, the Department of Health and Human Resources has provided funding to West Virginia schools to expand mental health services to students.
Office of Behavioral Health Commissioner Christina Mullins explained that getting these additional services into schools has not been easy for several reasons.
“It’s a bit expensive to implement statewide, and communities need to prepare for it. Schools have to do a lot of groundwork and preparation to be eligible for these grants. Mullins said.
In our area, schools in Monongalia County have received this grant. The schools awarded were University High School, Clay-Battelle Middle School, Clay-Battelle High School and Mason Dixon Elementary.
Mullins explained that there are many ways to work towards positive mental health goals in schools.
While each school would choose its own program. All award-winning schools were required to have a partnership with a community mental health center to ensure the best support for students and families.
“For children who really need this intensive individual mental health service. We can actually offer it there at school. They don’t have to leave and come back or make appointments elsewhere,” Mullins added.
In addition to accessing and assisting with targeted behavior. Mullins said schools are also encouraged to create an environment that makes children happy and safe.
“How the child feels about entering this school is something the staff sits down to, think about and make a plan for,” she explained.
Mullins said all schools will create their plan for fall 2022.
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