KPS receives 423K Mental Health Awareness Training Grant
KEARNEY, Neb. (Press Release) - Kearney Public Schools received a $434,484 Mental Health Awareness Training Grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services Center for Mental Health Services. This federal grant program aims to help train school personnel to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental disorders, particularly serious mental illnesses or serious emotional disturbances in students from preschool through high school.
“Training those staff members who work with our students on a day-to-day basis to recognize signs and symptoms of mental health issues is critical,” stated Jason Mundorf, KPS Superintendent. “Early help and prevention can help our students stay mentally strong and be better learners. This grant will help us to continue our work with families and community stakeholders.”
The grant will help train KPS staff in Youth Mental Health First Aid and Crisis Prevention and Interventions. Those being trained include teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, and bus drivers. Youth Mental Health First Aid teaches staff how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges among children and adolescents ages 12-18. The Mental Health Training will focus on the following:
- Common signs and symptoms of mental health challenges in this age group, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD).
- Common signs and symptoms of substance use challenges.
- How to interact with a child or adolescent in crisis.
- How to connect the youth with help.
- Expanded content on trauma, substance use, self-care and the impact of social media and bullying.
Another purpose of the grant is to help educate individuals about resources available in the community for individuals with mental disorders. The project allows KPS to partner with Buffalo County Community Partners in conducting a social media campaign about mental health awareness targeting youth. The campaign will include information on mental health resources available in Kearney.
“As the mental health needs of our students become more and more complex, it is exciting to have this great opportunity to train our staff in the skills necessary to identify and support those critical needs,” said Jesse Florang, Grant Coordinator and KHS MTSS Coordinator.
As part of the grant, Buffalo County Community Health Partners will help educate kids in the community about the services available with a social media campaign. “Youth in our community are asking for mental health resources that are easily understood and accessible, we are honored to be invited by KPS to support youth and build connections,” stated Denise Zwiener, Executive Director of the Buffalo County Community Health Partners.
The grant awarded a total of $434,484 to be distributed in four years: $120,951 in year one, $90,791 in year two, $120,951 in year three, and $90,791 in year four.
Copyright 2023 KSNB. All rights reserved.