Eagle County School District receives funding for school-based mental health services

· Jan. 10, 2023, 4:45 pm

The Eagle County School District will receive nearly $800,000 in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education to support mental health programs for youth, according to Colorado Democratic Rep. Joe Neguse.

The funding is part of the School-based Mental Health Grant Program. It’s a  U.S. Dept. of Education grant meant for state and local educational agencies to increase the amount of credentialed mental health services offered to students. 

The Eagle County School District will receive $785,304 for the coming year, Neguse said in a statement. A full list of grant recipients will be released at a later date, according to the education department.

The program is set to last for five years. Eagle County Superintendent Phil Qualman said the district is excited for the grant. 

“This grant will go a long way in allowing Your Hope Center to hire more school-based therapists to assist our students,” Qualman said in a statement.

After recent data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment revealed 40 percent of children in the state experienced depression within the last year and 51 percent felt stress daily more often during the pandemic, Neguse said mental health services for the students are critical. 

“The empirical data makes clear that many young people in our community and our country are struggling,” Neguse said. 

The public health department also found that suicide rates were higher among youth who are LGBTQ+ multi-racial. In May 2021, Children's Hospital Colorado declared a state of emergency for youth mental health.

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