Grand Forks school system receives $106,000 grant for behavioral health programs

The Grand Forks public school system has received a $106,843 grant from the state Department of Human Services to support behavioral health needs and services throughout the school district.

The grant, awarded by the department’s Department of Behavioral Health, will fund a number of social and emotional intervention and prevention programs that are aligned with the school system’s strategic plan to develop a district-wide comprehensive mental health system.

Programming will include short-term counseling support services for students and staff, mental health literacy, support for the School System’s Comprehensive Counseling Program, Cognitive Behavioral Trauma Intervention in Schools (CBITS), and funding for the Strengths Program.

CBITS is a group skills-based children’s intervention focused on PTSD, depression, and generalized anxiety among children exposed to multiple forms of trauma.

Strengths is a best practice youth suicide prevention program that aims to harness the power of social peer networks to change unhealthy norms and culture, with the goal of preventing suicide, bullying, and substance abuse. The program is offered at all Grand Forks public schools.

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“We are grateful to the North Dakota Department of Human Services Department of Behavioral Health for granting this scholarship funding to public schools in Grand Forks,” Jeff Jockler, district mental health coordinator, said in a press release.

“Our goal is to support the overall well-being of our staff and students, and while the past two years have certainly had challenges, this funding supports a number of programs and initiatives that promote positive mental health,” said Jockler.

The scholarship application was written by Gaukler and Taunya Schleicher, scholarship writer for the school district.

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