The California Department of Education (CDE), in partnership with the Humboldt County Office of Education (HCOE), Stanislaus COE, and Sacramento COE, proposed to serve 22,634 students from eight school districts annually through an expansion of Project Cal-Well, an initiative aims at improving mental health awareness and wellness of California K-12 students. This project would target eight school districts from urban, suburban and rural regions, and serve a range of student mental health needs related to poverty, ethnic minority status, and experiences of historical and community trauma after a natural disaster. Project Cal-Well will utilize a comprehensive three-tier model of evidence-based interventions that are developmentally appropriate and culturally competent in expanding school- and community based mental health services. The goals of this project are to: 1) Provide universal supports to create positive school climates that help school-aged youth develop skills to promote resilience and pro-social behaviors; avert development of mental and behavioral health disorders; and prevent youth violence; 2) Increase access to and availability of sustainable culturally competent and developmentally appropriate school-based mental health (SBMH) programs staffed by mental health staff to screen for, provide early intervention for, and to address any ongoing mental health needs of children with symptoms consistent with a mental disorder(s); and 3) Build partnerships and cross-system collaborations to promote youth well-being and increase and improve access to sustainable culturally competent and developmentally appropriate community based mental health services. Project Cal-Well proposed to use an array of evidence based strategies to meet the mental health needs of our students, which includes: Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports, Restorative Practices, trauma informed practices, Youth Mental Health First Aid, and Question, Persuade and Refer. Utilizing our three-tier mental health model, and through building state and local level partnerships, the CDE is creating a sustainable mental health model that would be effective in increasing mental health awareness and expanding access to school and community based mental health services in California

Award Number Grantee Organization Name Grantee City Grantee Statesort descending Project Director Last Name Project Director First Name Award Amount
SM081986-01 CALIFORNIA STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SACRAMENTO CA CHAN HILVA $1,800,000

The proposed project, Seminole Tribe of Florida (STOF) AWARE-SEA (SM-19-003, CFDA 93.243), will develop and implement school-based programs to enhance the identification, prevention, and treatment of emotional and behavioral disorders among STOF school-aged youth who attend the Lead Education Agencies (LEAs). To attain this, tribal members will be provided with counseling, training, and community outreach efforts that are considered Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) to identify and address the warning signs of mental health and substance abuse disorders. Prevention programs will train educators and other youth-serving adults to detect and respond to mental health issues, improve school climate, increase parental and familial awareness of mental health, and expand existing mental health and behavioral services and supports for school-aged youth. Nationally, the rate of substance dependence/abuse among American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) over the age of 12 was higher than any other population and 17% of AI/ANs aged 3-21 receive services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Similarly, many STOF Members experience academic/intellectual challenges, expressive/receptive language deficits, emotional/behavioral disturbances, and/or physical disabilities. STOF families experience high rates of school dropout, with only 260 students receiving college support services from the STOF Executive Administrative Office-Center for Student Success and Services (EAO-CSSS) and approximately 20 college graduates per year. We posit that these rates of high school and college graduation can be increased if more students are provided with the mental health support they may require to be academically and socially successful. The STOF Health and Human Services (HHS) clinical team, in collaboration with EAO, will implement the AWARE-Mental Wellness Program using multiple EBPs with a “Whole School” approach. This approach recognizes the impact of trauma and mental health issues in students’ lives and allows the focus to be placed on learning, skill-building, resiliency, and time in the classroom. Curricula and EBPs are targeted across all grades served and include the integration of all staff, parents, and community mental health services to provide age appropriate, culturally sensitive services. The EBPs to be utilized are Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) and a modified Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) curricula—both of which incorporate student input, a SAMHSA requirement. Importantly, CBITS will be employed to target traumatized children in the 5th and 12th grades. The proposed additional staff will enable STOF HHS and EAO to annually: increase the number of students who either are referred to or receive school-based mental health services by 10%; increase the number of school staff and community members trained in mental health stigma reduction methods by 500; and increase the percentage of students who report feeling safe and or a positive school climate by 10%. The population of focus is the 731 students and 300 families within the three STOF LEAs. Achieving success in these goals reduces the risk of intergenerational trauma and substance abuse, which then increases the likelihood of an improved quality of life for STOF Members and their families.

Award Number Grantee Organization Name Grantee City Grantee Statesort descending Project Director Last Name Project Director First Name Award Amount
SM081977-01 SEMINOLE TRIBE OF FLORIDA HOLLYWOOD FL OSCEOLA MARCELLUS $1,573,833

The purpose of the Kentucky AWARE 2018 project is to increase awareness of mental health issues among school-age youth and to support school personnel, parents, and other adults who interact with youth to identify, respond, and refer youth and their families to needed services. In the latest Kids Count Data Book, Kentucky ranks 37th nationally in overall child wellbeing, a drop from last year’s ranking of 34th. Youth in the 3 partner LEAs present with a variety of needs for social and emotional learning, mental health and trauma informed care. All have more than 45% of students receiving free or reduced lunch, rates of out-of-home care are the highest in history, and rates of court and juvenile justice involvement are concerning. The 3 AWARE LEAs, Warren, Bullitt and Henderson, are among Kentucky’s largest districts. Like most of Kentucky, these LEAs contain largely rural to suburban-rural populations. Two of the three LEAs are located in areas designated by HRSA as having a shortage of mental health professionals. In collaboration with statewide efforts under AWARE, the 3 LEAs are taking steps to align school mental health supports and processes with existing schoolwide PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) practices, and are committed to implementing trauma informed practices, Youth Mental Health First Aid training for school adults, and improving social emotional skills for all students. Kentucky AWARE will serve 37,556 students annually through universal, targeted, and direct interventions. Through the provision of training and other supports, the project will impact 375 school administrators, 3292 school staff, and over 1000 parents and community members. Goal 1: Increase the mental health (MH) awareness & literacy of school staff & administrators, parents, agency partners, & community members who interact with school-aged youth by training individuals to respond effectively to youth MH needs Goal 2: Increase statewide capacity and sustainability of the school and behavioral health treatment workforces to implement and integrate trauma-informed principles into practice. Goal 3: Increase access to evidence-based, culturally competent, and developmentally appropriate community- and school-based behavioral health services and supports in each partner LEA. Goal 4: Enhance resiliency among school-age youth by integrating and implementing social-emotional learning skills into the general education curricula and increase family and student engagement. Goal 5: Increase access and use of school-based MH promotion, prevention, early intervention, and treatment strategies by creating or enhancing a proactive multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) in schools, which integrates academic, positive behavior and MH supports to meet the needs of students.

Award Number Grantee Organization Name Grantee City Grantee Statesort descending Project Director Last Name Project Director First Name Award Amount
SM081958-01 KENTUCKY STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION FRANKFORT KY TILLETT KATHRYN $1,800,000

State of NH - Project AWARE 2019 The NH Department of Education (NH DOE) will lead this effort through the Office of Social & Emotional Wellness, which is part of the Bureau of Student Wellness, Division of Learner Support, in partnership with the Bureaus of Student Support and Instructional Support as well as the Bureau for Children’s Behavioral Health within the NH Department of Health and Human Services. This project will provide technical assistance to Local Education Agencies in three regions of the state as they (1) Build and implement a multi-tiered behavioral framework; (2) Establish local student wellness teams; and (3) Collect and report data in an effort to inform additional efforts to address the needs of their students. This initiative will serve students in the Southwest, Southcentral, and Southeast regions of New Hampshire. Through participation in this effort, each LEA will create a comprehensive plan of evidence-based, culturally competent, and developmentally appropriate school- and community-based mental health services through the development of a Multi-Tiered System of Support for behavioral Health and Wellness (MTSS-B), identify opportunities to strengthen professional development and training amongst staff and community providers, and receive technical assistance to advance and sustain comprehensive school mental health efforts through the adoption of policies, practices, and programs that address both in-school and out-of-school time. Local jurisdictions served within NH’s Project AWARE initiative include: 1) SAU 34: Hillsboro-Deering in the South East Region; 2) SAU 81: Hudson in the South Central Region; and, 3) SAU 33: Raymond in the South West Region. Each LEA represents a region of the state that has yet to fully explore the use of a Multi-Tiered System of Support for Behavioral Health and Wellness (MTSS-B) for comprehensive school mental health. The three local jurisdictions identified for this project include an estimated student population of 5,835. NH’s Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for Behavioral Health and Wellness (MTSS-B) model is based on the public health pyramid approach of providing supports universally, to a targeted group, and intensively to those with the highest need. It blends research-based school mental health practices and social-emotional learning with Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. NH’s MTSS-B is a “way of doing business” that puts into place proven school- and community-based behavioral health practices so that every student can achieve health and wellness and be successful in school. MTSS-B employs a systemic, continuous- improvement framework integrating school behavioral health practices across all levels of the educational system for supporting every student.

Award Number Grantee Organization Name Grantee City Grantee Statesort descending Project Director Last Name Project Director First Name Award Amount
SM082054-01 NEW HAMPSHIRE STATE DEPT OF EDUCATION CONCORD NH MYLER MICHELLE $1,798,531

The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) is requesting 9 million in funding over 5 years to plan and implement the Tennessee Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education (AWARE) – Rural Expansion Project. TDOE seeks to build on its proven track record of success under the first AWARE-SEA grant by expanding school-community mental health partnerships and school-based programs and services within a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) framework. TDOE will replicate the AWARE model in the four high-need, rural school systems of Cocke, Hickman, Lake, and Fayette, which are geographically dispersed across rural East, Middle, and West Tennessee, and collectively serve 12,393 students in 30 schools and over 10,000 youth-serving adults. School populations are either predominantly White (95%) or are comprised of a mix of White and African-American students, with minimal linguistic diversity. An estimated 3 percent of students identify as LGBTQ. LEAs were selected for inclusion in the grant based on numerous need criteria, namely, rurality accompanied by high concentrations of child poverty, child abuse and neglect, chronic absenteeism, juvenile court referrals, and high relative prevalence of youth mental health disorders. The comprehensive project plan will guide local implementation of an array of evidence-based, school and community mental health services and professional development opportunities appropriate for school settings and populations served. The project defines six specific goals and related objectives that include: (1) building a collaborative infrastructure to plan and implement school-community mental health partnerships and programs for school-age youth, (2) increasing mental health awareness among students, parents, and the broader community to reduce stigma and promote help-seeking for mental health issues, (3) promoting positive school climate and building social-emotional competencies using an MTSS framework and evidence-based programming, (4) increasing school capacity to identify and respond to youth mental health needs through early identification, screening, and risk and threat assessment protocols, (5) expanding the continuum of school-based mental health services to improve mental health access and reduce unmet treatment needs, (6) and creating infrastructure needed to sustain and expand project accomplishments beyond the duration of the grant. The project will be led by an administrative team that brings five-years of strong leadership experience implementing the first TN AWARE grant program. The project, as proposed, represents a strong opportunity for Tennessee to build on its AWARE foundation and continue to refine models for integrating mental health into schools to more effectively address unmet needs for treatment.

Award Number Grantee Organization Name Grantee City Grantee Statesort descending Project Director Last Name Project Director First Name Award Amount
SM081974-01 TENNESSEE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION NASHVILLE TN CONNER PAT $1,800,000

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s (DPI) Project AWARE program seeks to expand upon previous work in the area of school-based mental health to innovate and better solidify methods by which schools can positively impact student mental health, with a continuum from prevention to treatment services. The project will serve, indirectly, the ~800,000 students in the State of Wisconsin, and the 14,000 students in three target Local Education Agencies (LEA’s). (La Crosse, Chippewa Falls, and the Lakeland Area Consortium). Rural schools are often the hub of their communities, and have been chosen because of the mounting family stressors in rural areas, and the significant access barriers and mental health provider shortages. Schools can play a significant role in providing or linking students and their families to mental health and other family support services within and outside of the school. The DPI is poised to scale up a comprehensive approach to school mental health statewide through an emerging regional infrastructure, on-line learning resources, and a cohort peer learning model. The goals of this project reflect student and family needs in project LEA’s and districts across Wisconsin: (1) increase the capacity for schools to respond to onsite mental health crises, (2) increase youth and family voice and authentic engagement, (3) improve cross-system collaboration to improve mental health supports and (4) increase access and engagement in mental health treatment for children and youth. Strategies to address these goals include training staff to develop mental health crisis plans, providing parent peer support and mental health navigation to families, including a clear and concise referral pathway, developing community collaboration teams, training adults in Youth Mental Health First Aid, and utilizing the School Health Improvement and Performance (SHAPE) System to improve quality and sustainability. Wisconsin’s plan also allows for local innovation. LEAs will choose evidence based strategies in promoting resiliency and pro-social behaviors and building mental health literacy of students. With the support of federal funds, many new comprehensive school mental health resources have been developed at the state and local levels. As a result, there is a need to bridge the gap from theory to practice, and fine-tune methods for effective implementation in the school environment. Through the use of integration and alignment strategies, evidenced-based and promising practices will be designed and implemented in a way that complement, and not compete with each other. As local laboratories, the LEAs will help to refine the most effective ways to create equitable and comprehensive school and community mental health service delivery systems that will act as models for how to improve the well-being of students across Wisconsin.

Award Number Grantee Organization Name Grantee City Grantee Statesort descending Project Director Last Name Project Director First Name Award Amount
SM081969-01 WISCONSIN STATE DEPT PUBLIC INSTRUCTION MADISON WI COLLINS REBECCA $1,800,000