MILWAUKEE - The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Student Services/Prevention and Wellness team recently distributed $10.9 million to support student mental health and alcohol and other drug abuse programs in schools, an Aug. 27 news release indicated.
"The mental health and wellness of our students and our school staff is paramount," State Superintendent Jill Underly said. "The pandemic exacerbated the existing challenges our schools and communities face when trying to address mental health needs. While these grants do not completely resolve that demand, they do provide help to schools attempting to offer additional support, resources, and services."
After completing an internal and external review process, the DPI awarded the more than $10 million sum in school-based mental health services grants to 153 applicants, representing 144 individual public school districts, eight consortiums and three charter schools.
Funding will be used to provide additional support and mental health resources to students, in collaboration with community health agencies.
The program is a two-year grant aligned with Wisconsin’s biennial budget. Applicants are eligible for up to $75,000 per year over the two years with the amounts specified by the applicants.
The DPI’s Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Program also awarded more $908,000 in competitive grants to districts for work toward prevention and intervention of alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse among students.
Grants were awarded to 61 districts and five consortia to support 48 projects serving students. Grant funds support school programs to teach skills and supply information aimed at preventing alcohol and illegal drug use.
For more information on the DPI’s School-Based Mental Health Services Grant Program and DPI’s Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse programs, visit the DPI website.