MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Four Monongalia County schools are among those in the state receiving grants to expand mental health services.
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Behavioral Health is administering the funds to 19 West Virginia schools.
Bureau for Behavioral Health commissioner Christina Mullins said the grant-awarding process is competitive.
“The schools that get these grants have really demonstrated to our team here at DHHR that they’re ready for these services and they’ve put in the work ahead of time to get this grant and get these funds,” Mullins said.
Clay-Battelle Middle/High School, Mason Dixon Elementary, and University High School will be served by Florence Crittenton, a relationship-based organization.
Students will have access to a range of prevention and intervention services.
Monongalia County Schools Superintendent Eddie Campbell said existing issues of many students were made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Because of the lower population of students in our western end of the county, we don’t necessarily have the resources we need to have,” he said.
Campbell added, “They will have prevention services in the schools for all kids. All kids get the prevention services. If a teacher or other school personnel notices behavior they’re concerned about they can get targeted interventions.”
Mullins said allowing such services in West Virginia will reduce reaction time to potential situations and allow officials to monitor developments better.
“They’ll be able to have counseling and other more intensive services available at the school for them,” she said. “I think that is really important because it minimizes time away from the classroom.”