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CCCOE, County Behavioral Health Services Awarded Grant To Provide Better Access To Mental Health Services For Students

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From the Contra Costa County Office of Education:

PLEASANT HILL, Calif. — In partnership with Contra Costa County Behavioral Health Services (BHS), the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) received a four-year, $6 million grant from the state’s Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSSA) to support school-based mental health services.

The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission has awarded grants to support partnerships which were established by the 2019 Mental Health Services Act (MHSSA) between County Behavioral Health Departments and County Offices of Education or other local educational entities and expand mental health services to students across the State of California.

“The pandemic has only highlighted the need for focus on mental health, especially among youth. This grant will make mental health services more accessible to the young people who need it,” Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey said. “We are thrilled to be partners with BHS to help schools and students more easily connect with needed resources and help.”

In Contra Costa County, the grant will fund a newly established Wellness in Schools Program (WISP) that will support district teams with the planning, implementation, evaluation, and continuous quality improvement of Wellness Centers and county behavioral health activities in public schools. County liaisons will work with each of the county’s 18 school districts to provide technical assistance and support, as well as serve as a resource for Parent Champions and District Liaisons. WISP seeks to connect all students in the county with access and support to essential behavioral health services in a timely manner.

WISP’s mission is to build capacity of county schools to identify and address student behavioral health and improve timely access to care; build awareness of the range of existing behavioral health services and supports available to students and their families/caregivers in the county; create an increased understanding of how to access those services and supports; destigmatize mental health needs and foster an appreciation for the importance of mental health wellness; and increase communication and collaboration between CCCOE, Behavioral Health and school districts.

“Supporting the mental health of our students is crucial, as well as the resilience and wellness of teachers to create a positive school environment,” said WISP manager Ade Gobir.

The grant allows for broad support for schools over the next four years that can benefit all students, as well as more targeted support to high-need and underserved school districts and parents/caregivers of students identified with moderate or acute behavioral health concerns. WISP will leverage and expand upon existing school-based behavioral health services.

Funding for WISP will continue through August 2025 with the county planning to continue the program after that.

For more information on WISP and for a list of resources, visit the CCCOE website.

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