January 23, 2023 4:20 am
The Douglas Education Service District will use $7 million in state funding to expand mental health services in the 13 school districts that serve the district.
The funding is part of nearly $20 million from the U.S. Department of Education to hire additional medical license providers in four Oregon states.
Douglas ESD is receiving $2,236,382 in fiscal year 2022. It will receive $6,808,215 through 2025. The ESD release said this will contribute significantly to the expansion of mental health care, and represents more than 71 percent of the total budget. cooperation with other programs.
Superintendent Analicia Nicholson said, “The additional services will have a significant impact on our students, families, staff and community, providing immediate and long-term needs”.
The funding is aimed at recruiting, training and retaining mental health providers in schools, as well as developing culturally/linguistically diverse skills among providers.
Approximately 13,000 students are enrolled in the districts that Douglas ESD serves. It currently has 12 employees in the health care department. The group is responsible for providing mental health services to approximately 50 percent of these students.
The release said the grant money will expand Douglas ESD’s Grow Your Own Program to remove barriers for professionals who want to train or retrain as school mental health aides. This program will combine classroom learning with real-world experiences by funding graduate students through Bushnell University and concurrently hiring a team of 15 student mental health counselors to serve youth in 13 school districts within the ESD area. . The aim of the training is to increase the number of school mental health providers in the region.
ESD and Bushnell this spring will begin recruiting for the program. Three information sessions will be organized around the area where information about the program will be given to the aspirants.