RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — Some local school districts will be benefiting from a federal grant to improve mental health services for students.
The U.S. Department of Education awarded the five-year, $2.5 million grant to the Virginia Department of Education for the development of a statewide training and professional development network of mental health professionals.
The program will be developed in partnership with several universities, including Virginia Tech and Radford University.
The aim of the grant is to increase the number of mental health professionals and their quality of service for seven school divisions, according to a VDOE statement.
Roanoke Public Schools and Buckingham County Public Schools were selected to be recipients of the program due to the high percentages of economically disadvantaged students and their small city or rural location, According to the VDOE.
School counselors, psychologists, social workers, and nurses at the respective schools will be trained to become qualified supervisors for graduate students completing internships.
Training programs at the partner colleges will provide financial incentives for 150 to 200 students pursuing a career in school mental health to accept internships and employment at the partner divisions. Incentives will also be provided for trainees pursuing advanced studies.