Professors receive federal grant to support mental health in schools

Lisa Grubbs and Bonnie King receive federal grant form U.S. Dept of Education

Jan. 10, 2023 — DENTON — The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $1.2 million grant aimed at supporting mental health efforts for K-12 students to two Texas Woman’s faculty members.

Lisa Grubbs, PhD, and Bonnie King, PhD, faculty members in Human Development, Family Studies and Counseling in the College of Professional Education, will use the grant to fund training and field experience in school-based mental health services for TWU students. In turn, the TWU students would apply their training to serve K-12 students at Uplift Education charter schools.

“We are excited about the opportunities it can provide for more of our counseling students to get to work with children and adolescents in a school setting,” Grubbs said. “We are equally proud to know that our students will be helping support Uplift Education and their students who are in need of additional support.”

The grant, which will be distributed over five years, is funded by the Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration Grant Program out of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) in the Education Department. The program was authorized by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act signed into law on June 25, 2022.

Training for TWU students in the School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs will focus on culturally sustaining and trauma-informed practices to help K-12 students improve social-emotional skills, overall academic performance and attendance, and lead to a decrease in disciplinary actions.

“Our focus is on helping our counseling students meet specific needs of campuses and Uplift scholars,” Grubbs said.

Large group classroom lessons focused on social-emotional learning, academic growth, and college and career readiness are school-based services that will be available to Uplift students. They will have access to small group counseling services as well as individual services.

In addition to financial support for TWU students, funding will be used for training materials and bi-annual workshops for students and Uplift counselors who will serve as supervisors for TWU’s counseling students.

Research collected throughout the program will determine if focused training and programming helps TWU students better provide services, how that training and programming improves supervision of TWU students in clinical settings, and how K-12 attendance, discipline referrals and reporting are impacted after school-based mental health services at Uplift schools.

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Page last updated 1:18 PM, January 10, 2023