The Batavia City School District is proud to announce it has received $1.4M in grant funding from the New York State Office of Mental Health under the “Student Mental Health Support Grants to School Districts” program to assist with mental health issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a national survey described in a recent publication of Pediatrics: An Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, “The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted both parent’s and children's mental health. The need to address the emotional and psychological wellbeing of children has never been more important.”
New York State’s Office of Mental Health announced the grants in March of 2022 specifically developed for public school students, families, faculty, and staff with the purpose of “improving access to mental health resources, support students who have experienced stress, anxiety and/or trauma, and to support the adults that surround them.”
According to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), “Research demonstrates that students who receive social-emotional and mental health support perform better academically.”
“This grant will provide much-needed assistance to our students and staff,” said Superintendent Jason Smith. “We are still evaluating the learning loss associated with the past two years of the pandemic, but it’s safe to say it’s had an extraordinary impact on our students’ mental health. We thank the Office of Mental Health for prioritizing students in our state and will certainly put these funds to good use.”
According to the grant information, “The expectation is that this enhancement will be utilized to address inequities and provide additional availability and access to the continuum of strategies and supports that address the mental health of students. The objectives of this grant include enhancing access to mental health services, implementing integrated mental health supports, and strengthening community partnerships.”
“The impact of the pandemic across all areas of our students' lives cannot be underestimated,” said Dr. Molly Corey, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction. “With grant programs like these, we can fill in the gaps with our curriculum, programming, and resources to make sure no student falls through the cracks and gets the support they need to be successful and get back on track.”
BCSD’s plans for the funding are currently under review and will be announced to the community at a later date.