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Marin County, CA: $4M grant to 'improve behavioral health services in schools'

June 20, 2021, San Rafael, CA, Marin Independent Journal: Marin secures $4M grant for mental health in schools

Marin County has received a $4 million grant to help coordinate efforts between the county’s behavioral health division and Novato and San Rafael schools. “We have been working with those two school districts to look at how we can improve behavioral health services in schools,” Jei Africa, director of the division, told county supervisors at their June 8 meeting, when they accepted the grant money. The grant is available through the Mental Health Student Services Act, which was established in budget legislation in 2019. The legislation was created to promote mental health partnerships between counties’ behavioral health departments and school districts, charter schools and county offices of education. Chandrika Zager, a supervisor in the Marin County behavioral health division, said the Novato and San Rafael school districts will each receive $400,000 a year over the next four years. Zager said San Rafael will use the money to hire three coordinators while Novato will hire two coordinators and a behavior specialist. She said the coordinators won’t be licensed mental health professionals but will likely be social workers…. McLarin added, “This work includes training both teachers and providers in culturally appropriate responses to problematic behavior, strengthening relationships between students and teachers, and between school districts and community-based providers.”


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