School district looks to fund mental health staff for next several years

Bay County

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — For some time now Bay District Schools has had a mental health counselor or several at each school in the district. Well with the hope of some grant funding coming in, that effort towards mental health importance in schools will continue for the next school year.

The Department of Education wrote a grant on the district’s behalf, including Gulf and Jackson counties, called the ‘Project Aware’ Grant.

The money would be sponsored by ‘SAMSA’, a federal program that supports mental health awareness.

If awarded, Bay District’s portion would be over $770,000 each year– for 5 years.

This grant money would go to keep the mental health support staff on-site for years to come.

“We’re funding those individuals right now through our restart grant, which runs out in October of this year. So if we receive this grant, that’s money that we can apply to continue to have our mental support staff on campus for the next five years,” said Assistant Superintendent, Denise kelly.

The school district will find out in July if they are awarded these funds.

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