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Feds send $8.8 million to Nevada to fund mental health programming in schools

A monochrome photo shows someone’s hands typing on a tablet.
Esther Vargas
Flickr Creative Commons

The Nevada Department of Education is planning to use an $8.8 million federal grant to fund supportive learning environments and student wellbeing – including a focus on mental health.

National advocacy organization Mental Health America ranked Nevada last in its 2022 youth rankings based on the prevalence of mental illness and lacking services.

Robin Reedy is executive director of the Nevada chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI. She said caring for students’ mental health is imperative.

“You have to teach them how to recognize those feelings within themselves and understand that they’re natural feelings and then address ways and tools to have them manage that and not get into the place of hopelessness,” Reedy said.

Reedy suggested that schools train staff to recognize when students are struggling. NAMI also has a teen text line where young adults can be connected with a professional.

The funding will be distributed to school districts through a competitive grant process, so districts will propose projects and the department will choose which will get support. The federal grant is a part of nearly $1 billion distributed to state education agencies through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

Jose Davila IV is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Produced with assistance from the Public Media Journalists Association Editor Corps funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

The photo included in this story is licensed under Flickr Creative Commons.

Jose Davila IV is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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