Monday, September 23, 2013

Mental Health America Funding

As the new school year gets under way, three public school districts including Spring Branch ISD are getting help from a local group to address the behavioral health – mental health and substance abuse – needs of students through $75,000 in grant funding.

Mental Health America of Greater Houston (MHA), one of the region’s oldest mental health education and advocacy organizations, has awarded $10,000 to SBISD to train personnel to develop and implement written transition service plans for secondary students returning from alternative education programs and juvenile justice placements. The student plans will include recommendations for educational placements and referrals for behavioral health treatment, as needed.

“Mental illness and addictive disorders affect one in five children, so we feel it is extremely important for us to help school districts effectively meet the needs of these students,” Susan Fordice, MHA’s president and CEO.

“We anticipate seeing marked improvements in students’ academic and behavioral outcomes as a result of the projects being implemented in each district. We will use what we learn in these efforts to help other school districts do the same.”

School district grants were awarded as part of MHA’s School Behavioral Health Initiative, which brought together school district staffs, behavioral health providers, child-serving and education-related agencies, and parents to develop and then implement recommendations to improve the prevention, identification and treatment of behavioral health issues among students. Last spring, the group issued 37 recommendations to the Texas Legislature and other elected bodies and area groups.

In addition to SBISD, other funding recipients include the following school districts:

Channelview ISD- $25,000 award to hire a Harris County Community Youth Services worker to provide needed navigation and other support services to at-risk elementary school students and their families.

Goose Creek Consolidated ISD- $40,000 award to cover personnel costs for 150 staff members to receive training in the implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.

MHA was founded in 1954 by Miss Ima Hogg to enhance the mental health of all Houstonians and to improve the lives of those with mental illnesses. To learn more, please visit MHA’s site:


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