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School-linked mental health programs awarded grants

ST. PAUL — Southwestern Mental Health Center was awarded $543,737 in grant funding over the next three years to provide mental health services to students in its service territory.

Statewide, 57 mental health providers will share in $33 million to bring mental health services to more than half of Minnesota schools.

Programs help identify mental health needs early, make services available to more children in need and improve outcomes for children and youth with a mental health diagnosis. Services include assessment, treatment and care coordination, teacher consultation and schoolwide trainings. Placing children’s mental health services in schools provides an opportunity for mental health promotion, prevention and early identification and intervention in a place that is familiar and comfortable for them and their families.

The School-Linked Mental Health Program began in 2006 and has since expanded to serve schools in 83 of Minnesota’s 87 counties. Over the previous five-year grant that ended in June, 15,000 students received mental health services from 953 school programs in 287 school districts across the state.