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Ulster lawmakers vote to fund improved mental health support in schools

Jun 28, 2022 12:30 am

MidHudson News is reporting Ulster County lawmakers have allocated American Rescue Plan Act funding and Opioid Settlement funding to strengthen mental health supports in the county's schools. A resolution to fund the program was unanimously adopted by the county legislature last week. The program will supplement mental health services provided in the county’s nine district schools and will act as a link between school, community, and family. The program was designed with local districts to promote general wellness, offset the effects of trauma, and bolster existing mental health resources in the schools. The Mental Health in Schools program will begin with the 2022-23 school year and work with middle school aged students. Charles Khoury, district superintendent and CEO of Ulster BOCES, said, “The pandemic has shaken the somewhat predictable nature of our pre-pandemic lives and our sense of security. There has been a significant uptick in the number of students and families who need mental health, social, and emotional support. The Ulster County Mental Health in Schools initiative will serve to assist the already overburdened school-based student support staff.” Ulster County will contract with a nonprofit to operate teams of one social worker or mental health counselor and a care manager to support youth, families, and schools. Teams will provide face-to-face sessions with the youth, family support sessions with the youth and their parent or caregiver, ongoing communication with school staff, a connection to community resources, and coordination with other providers. Read the full story at MidHudsonNews [dot] com.

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