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Project AWARE

  • AWARE stands for Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education. The Project AWARE program builds or expands the capacity of State Educational Agencies (SEA), in partnership with State Mental Health Agencies (SMHAs) overseeing school-aged youth. By building or expanding capacity, the program advances wellness and resiliency in education by increasing mental health awareness in schools across states, territories, and tribal communities.

    Project AWARE also provides training for school personnel and other adults who interact with school-aged youth to detect and respond to mental health challenges, and connects school-aged youth, who may present with behavioral health challenges and their families to needed services.

    The program has increased mental health literacy among the schools and communities, removed barriers to find care, and ensured cultural relevance for all school programs. With the continuous support from SAMHSA, Project AWARE proceeds to focus on improving school climate and trauma informed programming to improve the care for school-aged youth.

    Project AWARE History

    Safe Schools/Healthy Students - 1999

    In 1999, The US Department of Education, Health and Human Services and Justice created the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative.

    Now is the Time - 2013

    After the Sandy Hook School Shooting in 2012, the Now is the Time program was created in 2013.

    Aware SEA/LEA - 2014

    In 2014, Now is the Time Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education) State Educational Agency Program (NITT-AWARE-SEA) cooperative agreements were awarded.

    Currently there are 92 AWARE grantees. The Cohorts are as follows:

    Successes of AWARE from 2018 - 2022

    • 1,816 organizations entered into formal written agreements to improve mental health-related practices, coordinate services, provide additional support, and strengthen partnerships
    • 796 policy changes have occurred at the state and local levels to improve mental health related programs and services as a result of the grant
    • 834,481 mental health professionals, first responders, teachers, school staff, administrators, families, community members and others have participated in mental health related trainings
    • 205,874 students have been referred for mental health or related services

    Collaborative Partnerships

    Partnership and collaborations are an important aspect of Project AWARE. Partnering organizations are needed to improve the mental health related practices and activities, such as:

    • Increase mental health awareness and literacy
    • Immediate response of mental health needs
    • Coordinated screening, referral, access and follow up
    • Culturally informed and developmentally appropriate services
    • Promotion of evidence based services
    • Co-coordination with State Mental Health Agency
    • Sustainable school mental health infrastructure
  • mental health professional talking to teenager

    Mental & Healthcare Professionals

    • Licensed Social Worker
    • Licensed Counselor
    • Guidance Counselor
    • School Health Nurse
    • Substance Use Counselor
    • Behavioral Health Support
    • Occupational Therapist
    • Physical Therapist
    • Speech Language Pathologist
  • police officer talking to two teenagers

    Law Enforcement & First Responders

    • Police Officers
    • Probation Officers
    • School Resource Officer
    • Fire Department
    • Emergency Medical Technicians/Ambulance
    • 911 Operators
    • Hotline Operators
  • bus driver giving child a high-five

    School System

    • School Administrators
    • Teachers
    • Academic Advisors
    • Librarian
    • Peer Support Worker
    • Tutor
    • Paraeducators
    • Reading Specialist
    • Administrative Assistant
    • Registrar
    • Custodian
    • Crossing Guards
    • Bus Driver
    • Volunteer
    • Before/After School Staff
    • Lunch/Recess Monitor
  • mother assisting son with homework

    Family and Student Supports

    • Care Coordinator
    • Parents
    • Case Managers
    • Case Workers
    • Pupil Personnel Worker
    • Crisis Care Worker
    • Outreach Staff
    • PTA/PTO’s
    • Human Service Agency Staff
    • Local Businesses

Last Updated

Last Updated: 03/21/2023