County Announces $7.5 Million Grant for School Mental Health Services

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Additional mental health services are coming to local schools. - FILE
  • File
  • Additional mental health services are coming to local schools.
The Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services announced today that $7.5 million in grant funding will pour into the county over the next four years to provide additional mental health services in local schools.

Coupled with two additional grants, that means more than $9 million in mental health funding will be coming to Humboldt County.

The $7.5 million grant, which DHHS received via a partnership with the Humboldt County Office of Education, will fund 22 positions, including mental health clinicians, case managers and support personnel. Six of those will be employed by the county, while the other 15 will be employed school districts throughout the county. All will be stationed in local schools, according to a press release.

“Local students and families confront mental health challenges every day both at home and school,” said Jack Bareilles, the grants and evaluation administrator for the Northern Humboldt Union High School District, in a press release. “This award will allow DHHS and the schools to hire school-based staff to directly serve children where they are 180 days a year — at the schools.”

The other $1.7 million in grant funds will go toward hiring additional staff for the county’s Mobile Response Team, which serves adults, and to provide additional mental health serves to young people up to 21 years old throughout the county.

See the full press release from the county copied below:


June 7, 2018

DHHS lands third mental health grant

A $7.5 million grant over the next four years will make it possible for children and youth throughout Humboldt County to receive much needed mental health services at their schools. This brings to more than $9 million, the amount of grant funding awarded to the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) and its partners in little over a month.

All three awards are Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission’s SB 82 Triage personnel grants and include nearly $1 million to hire more Mobile Response Team (MRT) staff who serve adults and almost $730,000 additional funding for Children & Family Services MRT staff.

The largest grant, a partnership between the Humboldt County Office of Education and DHHS Mental Health, will provide children with mental health services in school.

In a county spanning more than 4,000 square miles, accessing services can be difficult for people in outlying areas.

“Local students and families confront mental health challenges every day both at home and school,” said Jack Bareilles, the Grants and Evaluation Administrator for the Northern Humboldt Union High School District. “This award will allow DHHS and the schools to hire school-based staff to directly serve children where they are 180 days a year—at the schools.”

The grant will fund 22 positions, including mental health clinicians, case managers and other support personnel. Six clinicians and a supervising clinician will be employed by DHHS, the remaining 15 people will be employed by local school districts throughout the county. Both county and school staff will be stationed in schools.

“We are pleased to partner with the schools to be able to provide more mental health services to school-age children throughout our county,” said DHHS Director Connie Beck. “Having the opportunity to address mental health concerns earlier in children’s lives improves their chances for better behavioral, social, developmental, academic and physical success in the future.”

In addition, Mental Health’s Children & Family Services MRT grant will provide mental health services to young people from 0 to 21 years old in communities throughout the county.

MRT personnel will be located almost entirely in the field, serving locations such as schools, DHHS’s Transition-Age Youth Division’s drop-in center, hospital emergency departments, tribal communities, the probation department and the locked juvenile facility.

Mental Health Director Emi Botzler-Rodgers said these three grants will make it possible to better respond to, support and provide services to people experiencing mental health challenges throughout the community.

“This funding will make it possible for us to expand the services we offer throughout the county, and continue to build on the partnerships we have with law enforcement, the medical community, our educational partners and other service providers.”


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