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Vancouver Public Schools receive grant to support student mental health

By KPTV Staff

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    VANCOUVER, Washington (KPTV) — The Vancouver Public School District is one of the several hundred across the county that is receiving grant funding for student mental health services.

The grant, provided by the United States Department of Education, will span four years and serve at least 7,500 middle and high schoolers as well as their families in the Vancouver Public Schools District.

The funding will go toward recruiting and retaining school mental health service providers and expanding diversity and cultural/linguistic competency among the providers. The school district said it will use the funding to ensure that students have access to mental health care that mirrors their cultural experiences. It will also equip staff with the tools to identify mental health needs in students.

VPS said the funding is arriving at a crucial time when the needs for mental health support are much higher than they have been in the past. It comes just as the federal funding granted during the pandemic is set to end at the end of 2023.

“We are grateful that the DOE has prioritized this need for students. This additional support will not only allow us to maintain essential mental health offerings for students but also offer them in a way that our diverse mix of students can relate to and utilize,” said Dr. Jeff Snell, Vancouver Public Schools superintendent. “There is no doubt that having supports like these for students is critical for their success, and better all around for the community.”

For the first year, the Department of Education designated $1.7 million to VPS.

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