Gov. Walker’s proposed 2017-19 state budget includes funding (about $6.5 million over the biennium) and several provisions to assist districts to provide mental health services in school, including in partnership with social service agencies and other community mental health providers:
- Categorical Aid for School Mental Health Programs: Provides $3 million in 2018-19 to support school districts and independent charter schools in the provision and expansion of social work services/mental health services in schools.
- Community and School Mental Health Collaboration Grants: Provides $2.5 million in 2018-19 to create a competitive grant program to support school districts and connecting youth to needed mental health services in collaboration with community mental health providers.
- Mental Health Training Support Program: Provides $491,300 in 2017-18 and $514,100 in 2018-19 for training school personnel to boost school districts’ capacity to provide mental health screening and intervention services to pupils. The state superintendent must ensure that the all of the following evidence –based strategies are included in the training provided using these funds: screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT); trauma-informed care and trauma sensitive schools; and youth mental health first aid.
The governor’s recommendations are in alignment with the WASB’s Legislative Agenda (see item 2 in the Agenda) and WASB Resolution 6.06—“ The WASB will support coordinated efforts to secure state grant funding to support school site-based mental health programs, supports and services …”