POUGHKEEPSIE – Poughkeepsie City School District will be able to expand its mental health offerings to students and parents thanks to a $2.33 million grant from the New York State Office of Mental Health.
District officials received word of the grant last Tuesday.
Structured over a five-year period, the Student Mental Health Support Grant provides funding for:
● School-based mental health clinics at Poughkeepsie Middle School and Poughkeepsie High School through an expansion of a partnership with Astor Services for Children and Families.
● Student engagement activities including presentations at orientation and school events, mental health workshops during homeroom at PMS and PHS and wellness workshops after school and during Saturday Morning Lights.
● Parent engagement activities at the Parent Empowerment Center, including presentations at Parent Teacher Conferences, interactive parent workshops during the evening and an annual Family Mental Health & Wellness Fair.
● Creation of a Poughkeepsie System of Care Collaborative which will work with providers across the continuum of mental health and wraparound services to create a map of current services, create a needs assessment and action plan and host an annual Children’s Mental Health Conference to provide professional development for mental health workers in the region.
● Hiring a Mental Health Awareness Coordinator to oversee all project activities and track outcome data.
● Hiring a clerical assistant to the coordinator.
● Funding to purchase materials and support events and activities.
Superintendent Dr. Eric Jay Rosser said seeking the grant is part of the district’s overall strategy to help students.
“Our responsibility as a school district is to provide a high quality educational experience for all students, this requires enriched academic, social, emotional and wellness supports.” he said, adding that this grant award provides the ability to expand on the existing systems of social and emotional supports provided to PCSD students.
“We are grateful for our partnership with Astor and this grant will allow us to guarantee five years of services to PCSD students and parents. ” This partnership, inclusive of other partnerships with community organizations, greatly enhances the Poughkeepsie City School District’s Community School model.”
Rosser said that since 2020 the district has aggressively sought and acquired more than $6.5 million in grant funding to support expanding opportunities and access for PCSD students.