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NY school districts have a chance to get a portion of $50 million for student mental health


Governor Kathy Hochul announced investments of up to $50 million in available funding for mental health resources. School districts will be awarded money to improve student access and assist students who have experienced trauma that impacted their education.

"Young students have been particularly hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, suffering disruptions in their education, social lives, and recreational activities and opportunities," Governor Hochul said. “This funding will help ensure that every student who has experienced trauma that has impacted their education can receive the necessary mental health resources they need and deserve."

Eligible school districts in New York will be required to submit a proposal of goals they hope to achieve within their school environments. Proposals will be scored and awards will be given to the highest-scoring applicant.

High school student, Hunter Mannix, suffers from depression and anxiety. He hopes the proposals will get schools to strengthen relationships between students and staff. He says in doing so they can have open conversations without feeling uncomfortable and have someone to talk to if they don’t have that option at home.

“I just got off the phone the other day crying to my friend about some issues I have been going through,” Mannix said. “Not everyone has the same support system so I hope this enhanced access to resources will give others the services they need.,” Mannix said.

Proposals have been issued by the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH). Eligible proposals they are hoping to receive should help implement integrated mental health support, promote wellness within school environments, and support the mental health of both students and their families.

“OMH has invested significant resources for children and youth whose lives were turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic, and who are now impacted by anxiety, depression, and trauma,” New York State OMH, Dr. Ann Sullivan said. “The funding announced today by Governor Hochul will help us improve student access to mental health resources, and support our students as well as their families."

For more information about the proposals or available funding for school districts, you can visit here.

Adriana Loh is a graduate student in broadcast journalism at Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Communications and shares reporting time at WAER Public Media.