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Streamlining Mental Health Services For Students

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Sonora, CA — A new grant will help fund mental health services for school-aged children throughout Tuolumne County.

The four-year grant will fund the new Accessing Wellness and Resilience in Education (AWARE) program. It is designed to provide students and families in Tuolumne County school districts with reliable, equitable, and accessible mental health support. Tuolumne County Superintendent Cathy Parker wrote the grant and states, “In our rural community, connecting individuals with services and resources available to them is now more important than ever. To address students’ increasingly complex mental health needs, we have created the AWARE program.”

The goals of this new program are to streamline the mental health referral system, provide mental health services on school sites, enhance universal screening, provide crisis intervention training, and coordinate existing services, said Parker. That will be provided through partnerships with local agencies and 11 schools in Tuolumne County. The program will offer support to all students ages 4-22 (TK-Transition) and will also provide support to their families.

To help facilitate the program, the superintendent’s office has recruited several mental health professionals to support the students and families: three new on-campus mental health clinicians, mental health navigator Elizabeth Beutter, and Mental Health Coordinator Terri Alford. Questions on the program can be directed to Alford at talford@tcsos.us.

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