Education Department awarded $1.8M for mental health program

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Department of Education’s program to increase mental health awareness among youth and train school staff to respond has received a $1.8 million grant from the federal government.

The award was announced Tuesday by U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.

Project AWARE, or Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education, also works to train school teachers and employees to detect and respond to mental health issues and connect young people affected by behavioral health issues with needed services, Manchin and Capito said in a news release.

The award comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“Increasing awareness about mental health and behavioral health issues is extremely important, especially among young West Virginians,” Manchin said.

“While the pandemic has highlighted how important these services are, we cannot forget about West Virginia’s youth who are exposed to adverse childhood experiences in their everyday lives,” Capito said.

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