WASHINGTON, D.C.: Mental Health Help Expanding at D.C. Schools

January 24, 2020
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
State:  District of Columbia

U.S. News and World Report

Washington, D.C., is working to connect students with mental health support. To help increase access to services, the district is testing out partnerships between public schools and community mental health organizations. So far, 76 schools have been assigned community mental health clinicians, with a total of 119 planned by the end of the school year. District officials hope to expand the program to all 244 public and public charter schools by 2023-2024. The program aims to identify and address risk factors for behavioral health issues early so that youth are set up for success later in life. It provides prevention and treatment services in schools, in addition to resources for students’ families. "We need to make sure that young people have access to both mental health and substance use disorder services, and they need to get those services where they are, which is in schools all day," said Barbara Bazron, director of the Department of Behavioral Health.

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