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New York State creates grant program to help schools address mental health concerns due to COVID pandemic

The Recover from COVID School Program will provide funding to help schools create or expand programs to help students deal with the trauma caused by COVID.

NEW YORK — New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced Thursday $108 million will be available to school districts to help assist students' well being by expanding mental health supports in schools.

The "Recover from COVID School Program" will provide funding to help schools create or expand programs to help students deal with the trauma caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. School districts or BOCES can apply for the grants. School districts with the highest need will be prioritized.   

A portion of the funding will also help address student learning loss due to the pandemic.  

"The effects of the pandemic on our students were devastating and irreversible – that's why we’re making historic investments to address learning loss and expand mental health support in our schools,” Governor Hochul said. “By pinpointing where students have fallen behind and getting them the mental health resources they need, this funding will help put New York students back on the path towards success.”

"In partnership with Governor Hochul, these grants will supplement the efforts already underway in our schools to address the pandemic-related trauma and meet the needs of students still struggling with academic, attendance, and mental health issues. Traumatic experiences can affect all aspects of learning. Every child deserves access to a quality education and these funds will enable our educators to deliver critical support to the students most impacted by the pandemic," said New York State Department of Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa.

"We have come a long way since the pandemic's start; however, the long-term effects of COVID continue, especially among our most vulnerable students. This funding will allow schools and districts to address student well-being and strengthen school connectedness strategies to combat the adversities caused by the pandemic. Working with the Governor and our state government partners, we can provide resources for the children, families, and school communities that need them most,” said New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr.

The Mental Health RECOVS Grant objectives charge school districts and BOCES applicants to:

  1. Expand student access to school-based mental health professionals, evidence-based and evidence-informed interventions, programming, services, supports and practices that promote mental health and wellness
  2. Improve capacity for school staff and students to identify mental health concerns and increase help-seeking behaviors
  3. Implement a variety of evidence-based and evidence-informed school-based mental health interventions and practices that are culturally, linguistically, and trauma responsive while promoting student diversity, equity, and inclusion
  4. Ensure financial stability and continuation of student access to evidence-based and evidence-informed school-based mental health interventions, programs services, and supports beyond the second and final year of the RECOVS Mental Health Grant Program

The money will be awarded over two years.  Applications are due by August 18, 2023 at 5 p.m.  More information and application details can be found here.

In addition, the state is also investing in expanding school-based mental health clinics across the state. Applications for the mental health clinics are due by October 5, 2023 at 1 p.m. More information and application details can be found here.

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