U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education)-State Education Agency Grants
Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education)-State Education Agency (SEA) grants (AWARE-SEA) aims to build or expand the capacity of State Educational Agencies, in partnership with State Mental Health Agencies (SMHAs) overseeing school-aged youth and local education agencies (LEAS), to: (1) increase awareness of mental health issues among school-aged youth; (2) provide training for school personnel and other adults who interact with school-aged youth to detect and respond to mental health issues; and (3) connect school-aged youth, who may have behavioral health issues, including serious emotional disturbance (SED) or serious mental illness (SMI), and their families to needed services. SAMHSA expects that this program will focus on partnerships and collaboration between state and local systems to promote the healthy development of school-aged youth and prevent youth violence.
The AWARE-SEA program supports the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan of activities, services, and strategies to decrease youth violence and support the healthy development of school-aged youth. This program builds upon the successful strategies of the Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) Initiative that have been effective in creating safe and secure schools and promoting the mental health of students in communities across the country. These strategies include facilitating a closer relationship between state and local implementation of policies and programs, and supporting the development of integrated systems that create safe and respectful environments for learning and promote the mental health of school-aged youth.
The goals of AWARE-SEA are:
- Increase and improve access to culturally competent and developmentally appropriate school- and community-based mental health services, particularly for children and youth with SED or SMI
- Develop school-based mental health programs staffed by behavioral health specialists (psychologists, advance practice nurses, counselors, clinical social workers) 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) or SED
- Conduct outreach and engagement with school-aged youth and their families to increase awareness and identification of mental health issues and to promote positive mental health
- Connect families, schools, and communities to increase engagement and involvement in planning and implementing school and community programs for school-aged youth
- Help school-aged youth develop skills that will promote resilience and promote pro-social behaviors, avert development of mental and behavioral health disorders, and prevent youth violence
- Equip schools with the ability to immediately respond to the needs of youth who may be exhibiting behavioral/psychological signs of a severity indicating the need for clinical intervention
- Develop an infrastructure that will sustain and expand mental health and behavioral health
Amount: A total of $42,161,924 is available to make up to 23 awards of up to $1,800,000 per year for up to five years.
Eligibility: State and Tribal Education Agencies. At least four awards will be made to tribal entities pending adequate application volume from this group. Applicants must also meet three additional requirements related to the provision of services:
- A provider organization for direct client mental health treatment services appropriate to the grant must be involved in the proposed project. The provider should be an organization committed to the project. More than one provider organization may be involved.
- Each mental health treatment provider organization must have at least two years of experience (as of the due date of the application) providing relevant services. Official documents must establish that the organization has provided relevant services for the last two years.
- Each mental health treatment provider organization must comply with all applicable local (city, county) and state licensing, accreditation, and certification requirements, as of the due date of the application.
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