Missouri school leaders offer $19 million in grants to add more mental health staffing
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - More students than ever are seeking out mental health services, and it’s a demand that has been difficult to keep up with. Long wait times for care are a reality.
The Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education hopes to help Missouri schools provide quicker services through a $19 million grant.
“Looking at national data, about 80 percent of all kids who are ever going to receive a mental health intervention are going to do so in a school setting. So we know if we don’t bring those services to kids in schools, they most likely won’t get that,” the EVP of community services for Burrell Health says.
Burrell Health features more than 250 full-time school-based providers. These providers are available in every school district in southwest Missouri. There are 50 providers in Springfield alone.
Despite this, the wait for a student to get help is extended.
“We only have so many licensed providers in our state, and we need more,” Hill says.
According to the grant, funds can be used:
- Hiring certificated and/or licensed school-based mental health professionals (school counselor, school social workers, and/or school psychologists)
- Contracting with community-based mental health providers and mental health centers
- Contracting with telehealth mental health providers
- Allocating up to five percent of the LEA’s grant award for reimbursing mileage associated with contracted services appointments
Funds are available through September 30, 2024.
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