Millions in funding headed to DCSS for mental health resources
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s also a time when students can be stressed with finals and college applications.
Over the course of the next five years, $15 million will be fed into the Dougherty County School System to provide behavioral and mental health resources to students and staff.
“Before the pandemic, we saw an increase in behavioral health challenges and mental health challenges with students nationwide. Since the pandemic, the increase has been even greater,” Kenneth Dyer, Dougherty County Schools superintendent, said.
Dyer said a portion of the grant money will go towards hiring 16 new behavioral specialists to support students and staff. It’s called the Project Provision Grant and it focuses directly on behavioral health in schools.
“So, we were very intentional. As I mentioned, our strategic plan focuses on the social and emotional wellness of our students,” Dyer said.
Georgia Senator Jon Ossoff is also contributing a total of $3 million to provide resources as well.
“The county is going to have flexibility with the use of these resources. What I’m doing is delivering expanded mental health services and more counselors for Dougherty County public school children. We have a real mental health crisis in this country,” Ossoff said.
As a parent, catching the signs of mental health issues can be difficult. Dyer said this grant will also provide resources to parents to help educate them on those signs.
“Those challenges are becoming more and more prevalent and we can’t deny the fact that it’s an issue,” Dyer said.
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