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October 06, 2022
LANSING, Mich. – Today, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Elizabeth Hertel and State Deputy Superintendent Kyle Guerrant discussed the importance of providing students the on-campus mental health support they need with Northwest Education Services (North Ed; formerly TBAISD) students, parents and educators. They also celebrated the inclusion of more than $558 million in the FY2023 bipartisan educational budget that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed in July to support the health, safety and wellness of all students across the state.
The Youth Health & Wellness Center, overseen by Grand Traverse County Health Department, is a child and adolescent health center located on the campus of the North Ed’s Career Tech facility. It provides primary and acute care and mental health services for ages 10 to 21 across five counties. An additional $25 million in this year’s budget could help create more facilities like it across the state that could serve over 35,000 additional youth.
“Programs like the Youth Health & Wellness Center provide access to important physical health services including immunizations, physicals and vision and hearing screenings, plus behavioral health care such as counseling services that can help address family issues, anxiety, peer pressure and bullying,” said Hertel. “Behavioral health, including mental health, is just as important as our physical health, and access at schools where our kids spend so much of their time is a crucial part of the equation. Funding for these locations, and investments included in our department’s FY2023 budget, will go a long way in supporting children and their families across Michigan.”
“We want to thank Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Sen. Wayne Schmidt and the state legislature for the additional support in this year’s budget for local school districts throughout Michigan to help work through student mental health challenges,” Guerrant said. “Having these services available right on campus like the ones offered at the Youth Health & Wellness Center will help ensure our students can get the help they need when they need it.”
This year’s budget addresses the health, safety and wellness of students with an expansion of $558 million for programs to support children’s mental health efforts, including funding for mental health screenings, school-based mental health professionals, school-based mental and physical health efforts, school-based health clinics and services for children with severe mental health needs.
The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and MDHHS work together to assist local school districts in implementing these life-changing programs and services for children and families.
The FY2023 budget for MDHHS expands access to community- and home-based behavioral health resources for children and adults including:
Four years ago, there was no dedicated state funding for student mental health services. The governor and state legislature approved $30 million in new funding for student mental health in the summer of 2018. That amount has increased ten-fold since that time.
In 2021, the legislature allocated nearly $300 million to intermediate school districts (ISDs) and local school districts in sections 31n and 31o of the state School Aid Act to hire behavioral health professionals, resulting in the addition of 850 professionals across the state. With section 31o funds, 284 districts serving 721,444 students were able to hire over 600 full time equivalent social workers, counselors, psychologists and nurses. With section 31n(6) funds allocated to ISDs, more than 250 professionals were hired to provide direct services to students.
In the new fiscal year 2022-23 school aid budget, there is $150 million provided to districts for discretionary mental health needs though per-pupil payments to districts for activities to improve mental health, including hiring staff, implementing screening tools, providing school personnel with consultations with behavioral health clinicians and any other mental health service or product.
There also is $50 million to ISDs for Transforming Research into Action to Improve the Lives of Students (TRAILS) implementation. TRAILS equips schools with training, materials and implementation needed to offer research-driven prevention and early intervention mental health programming to their students. ISDs must use the funding to implement a TRAILS program.
The fiscal year 2022-23 school aid budget also includes:
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City of Benton Harbor Water Response Resource and Opportunity Fair is today from 4 to 6 p.m.