An individual’s ability to maintain proper mental health is so important to society at large, because when a person is suffering, it can impact their entire community. It’s always important for there to be options and assistance for those who are struggling, especially when it comes to children.
Younger kids who are impacted by violence, abuse, and serious stress can develop anxiety as a result, and providing counseling and mental health services early can be a crucial step in preventing issues later on. In the wake of so many school shootings, the federal government is providing funding as part of a program called Project Prevent, that aims to identify and assess students who have been exposed to violence and help get them the counseling and/or mental health services they need. As part of this program, the Department of Education is providing a federal assistance grant of almost one million dollars to the Charleston County School District.
The funding received by the CCSSD is meant to go to projects that would help students in four specific areas. Firstly, to give students access to school-based counseling services as well as community-based counseling services that will help them to cope with anxiety stemming from trauma and violence. Second, to create student-based social and emotional groups to help students to better cope as a community with the very real effects of violence.
Third, the funding will help to institute conflict resolution and other school-based strategies to help prevent further violence. The grant money will also go towards projects that will help to establish a safer, more secure school environment for students, which will include activities that work to decrease incidents of harassment, violence, bullying, gang violence, and substance abuse. The hope with this program is that it will prevent future violence, and help students to cope with their environment and any resulting issues.
According to the US Department of Education, any programs funded through Project Prevent must address all four of these issues as an absolute top priority. The actual dollar amount budgeted to the Charleston County School District is $976,205 and will be put to use addressing all of these issues.
Authored by Lianne Hikind