Orange, TX: Expanding mental health services to schools

Sept 21, 2017, Orange (TX) Leader: LU awarded $1.8 million to enhance school counselor mental health training program Lamar University has been awarded a $1.8 million four-year grant through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Bureau of Health Workforce Education and Training to implement an interdisciplinary model for behavioral health prevention and intervention in local area schools and agencies. ... The primary goal of IMPaCT is to increase the number of highly trained behavioral health specialists in local schools and agencies who can provide services to children, adolescents and transition-age youth (that is, young adults between 16 and 25 who are transitioning out of child/adolescent agency services and into adult services or into the community) who are at-risk of developing or who have a recognized behavioral health disorder…. “This grant will enable the college to further enhance the preparation of our school counseling graduates while meeting critical needs in our schools and communities,” said Robert Spina, dean of the College of Education and Human Development. “I am excited for the students who will participate in this new initiative and grateful to Dr. Weinbaum for her leadership in developing the proposal.” “The idea evolved from some really good conversations with local law enforcement professionals and first responders to find out the needs and resources in the community,” said Weinbaum, who holds a Ph.D. from Sam Houston State University, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and Certified School Counselor. “Conversations with each of these entities went in different directions of course, but the major theme they had in common was that we can do a better job supporting our first responders and understanding crisis services in the community.” “We’re also a medically underserved area,” she said, “so it’s important to put highly qualified counseling professionals in our schools so that they can be on the front lines when it comes to coordinating mental health services.”