HENDERSON CO., KY (WFIE) - A federal grant will be used to improve mental health services in Kentucky schools, and Henderson County is one of three districts chosen for the pilot project.
As classes for the week come to close, and the school year wraps up, Henderson County school administrators are looking forward to the fall. They just found out they’ve been selected to receive one of their largest grants to date.
“I was super, super, super excited; I was elated.” Jamie Like, District Social Work and Project director said.
A total of $9-million dollars in grant money will help schools enhance mental health support, provide youth mental health first aid training and trauma-informed practices, and improve social-emotional skills.
“And we’re going to be able to partner with the University of Kentucky Center on Children and Trauma and do some more of that,” Like explained.
Henderson is only one of three school districts in the state selected. Bullitt and Warren County were also chosen, but Kentucky is one of only four states.
Henderson schools currently have four mental health counselors in addition to guidance counselors.
“We have two elementary counselors that service four schools each,” Like added.
With this money, they plan to add three more staff members to their mental health team.
“Depression is something we see pretty typically in our kids, we see a lot of anxiety issues with our kids.” Like explained.
Henderson’s share will be about $320,000 per year for five years, adding up to $1.6 million dollars, which will also allow them to partner with local mental health providers for onsite services.
“A lot of kids who have thoughts of self-harm, harming others, and I think we see that mirrored right now all over our country so it’s something everybody is dealing with, so to have additional resources to do that is going to be very helpful,” Like told 14 News.
The grant was announced by the Kentucky Department of Education in partnership with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The grant money comes from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Center for Mental Health Services.
14 News is committed to shining a light on Mental Health with our Peace of Mind Project. We have several resources available in a special section of our website.