HAMPTON, Va. – The Virginia Department of Education was awarded a five-year, $2.5 million federal grant to improve mental health services for students in six high-need school divisions, including Hampton City Schools.
The funds, which were awarded under the U.S. Department of Education’s Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration Grant Program, will go towards increasing the quality and quantity of school mental health professionals through a network that includes schools, local universities and the Department of Education.
“Mental health can affect students’ learning, development, relationships and physical health,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane. “The most positive outcomes occur when mental health services are provided by high-quality professionals. This grant will support the commonwealth’s effort to create a pipeline of high-quality mental health professionals for school divisions with the greatest needs.”
Five other school divisions — in Buckingham County, Charlottesville, Roanoke, Staunton and Waynesboro — will also benefit from the federal grant program. All six districts were selected based on the criteria of the grant program, which focuses on improving mental health services in schools in small cities and rural areas with high percentages of economically disadvantaged students.
Roanoke will partner with training programs at Virginia Tech and Radford University. Hampton will partner with programs at Old Dominion University and William & Mary. Buckingham County, Charlottesville, Staunton and Waynesboro will partner with the University of Virginia.