JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. —The Phoenix Talent School District is getting some federal funding to bolster mental health services in schools.
These grants are the first in a series of awards the US Department of Education will make over several years.
The Phoenix Talent School District says it’s seeing a lot of need for mental health support locally. The US Department of Education is announcing awards of more than $188 million across 170 grantees in over 30 states to increase access to school-based mental health services.
The hope is to strengthen the pipeline of mental health professionals in high-need districts. The Phoenix Talent School District is the only recipient of the funding in the Rogue Valley.
“Recovery from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic really makes it to where mental health support is needed just as we come out of crisis to our communities and schools,” said Derek Rodman, school psychologist for Phoenix-Talent Schools.
Rodman says the $2.6 million grant will be spread over 5 years.
“It will allow us to have another therapist at the middle school and at the high school and eventually more at the elementary schools too,” said Rodman.
Medford non-profit La Clinica is partnering with the school district in the effort. Long term, La Clinica says it hopes to create a model for other school districts around the state.
“It’s really about coming together for the community to serve the community and its needs and serve these children and families the best we can,” said Elise Travertini with La Clinica.
The impact of the funding will be felt soon. Phoenix Talent Schools say it hopes to start adding staff within the next month.
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