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Michigan Granted Nearly $13 million for School Health and Safety

November 7, 2014 

LANSING – Nearly $13 million in federal grants will be used in Michigan schools to improve students’ health and safety, the Michigan Department of Education announced today, in partnership with the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Michigan is among 20 states to receive the Project AWARE grant of $1,936,000 per year for five years from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In addition, the state is one of 12 states to receive $640,000 per year for five years from the U.S. Department of Education’s School Climate Transformation grant.

“This is important, and it’s significant that we’ve been awarded these funds that will go directly into Michigan schools to provide for a healthier and safer climate for student learning,” said State Superintendent Mike Flanagan. “Every Michigan student deserves the opportunity for a quality education in a safe and healthy environment.”

Michigan Department of Community Health Director Nick Lyon said, "We are proud to partner with the Michigan Department of Education in our effort to improve mental health understanding in our communities and reduce the stigmas associated with mental illness. Governor Snyder has called special attention to improving mental health services in Michigan and this grant to provide Youth Mental Health First Aid training in our schools is a tremendous step in our effort to do so."

The Project AWARE grant will provide funding to increase awareness of mental health issues among school-aged youth and provide training for school personnel and other adults who interact with school-aged youth to detect and respond to mental health issues in children and young adults using a nationally-recognized training called Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA). 

Key partners are Michigan’s departments of Education; Community Health; and Human Services, as well as three intermediate school districts: Kent Intermediate School District, Jackson Intermediate School District, and Oakland Schools. 

Up to 90 school districts will benefit from the School Climate Transformation grant to enhance Michigan’s system of support to Priority Schools within an evidence-based, multi-tiered behavioral framework and learning outcomes for all students. The purpose of the grant is to develop local capacity for the implementation of positive behavioral support and interventions and in the integration of school health and educational practices. 

The grant is a collaborative project within the Michigan Department of Education’s Offices of Special Education and Education Improvement & Innovation, and the Coordinated School Health and Safety Programs unit. Technical assistance will be provided through Michigan’s Integrated Behavior and Learning Support initiative.