The Indiana Department of Education is expanding funding for schools to improve access to mental health services and increase awareness for mental and emotional well-being. The funding comes from the federal Project Advancing Wellness and Resilience Education, or AWARE, grant.
The IDOE first received the grant in 2018 and, in partnership with the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. The department awarded initial funding to Avon Community School Corp., Perry Central Community School Corp. and Vigo County School Corp.
With the expansion, additional funding has been awarded to eight school districts, including:
- Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. – Youth First, Inc. – $35,000
- Hamilton Southeastern Schools – Community Health Network – $58,000
- Milan Community School Corp. – One Community, One Family – $60,000
- MSD of Wayne Township – Cummins – $60,000
- Sheridan Community Schools – Kids Pysch, Inc. – $59,000
- Westfield Washington Schools – St. Vincent Behavioral Health/Aspire – $58,000
- South Bend Community School Corp. – Oaklawn Psychiatric Center – $60,000
- Southeast Neighborhood School of Excellence – Cummins – $60,000
“The social and emotional wellbeing of our students and staff is an important component to being prepared and actively engaged in education,” State Superintendent Dr. Jennifer McCormick said in a news release. “Further expanding our Project AWARE efforts, allows Indiana to create and continue lasting partnerships focused on developing effective and successful mental health practices and resources.”
In addition to the extra funding, the IDOE has created a “Change the Frequency” campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the stigma surrounding mental health in schools and communities.
“The campaign provides students, faculty, and support systems with easy-to-understand tools and practices centered around recognizing the ways in which one’s own social, emotional, and mental well-being can be influenced, and working to change that individual’s well-being and overall quality of life,” the district says.
You can learn more about the state’s Project AWARE efforts, including the new campaign, by clicking here.