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Washtenaw County’s Public Safety and Mental Health Preservation Millage Advisory Committee has awarded $2.3 million over three years to the Washtenaw Intermediate School District (WISD) to fill gaps in youth mental health programming. The grant will give schools and parents additional support to respond to unmet youth mental health needs.
“We’ve seen such an increase in the mental health needs of students,” said Shannon Novara, WISD program manager for community and school partnerships.
“Younger people aren’t always aware of resources, so they look to adults to support them, especially adults they find in school every day. We want to make sure that we’re appropriately leveraging the resources that are available in this county because it’s going to take everyone pulling together to support our young people.”
An evaluation of Washtenaw County’s youth mental health needs and the services available in our community identified a number of service gaps. The $2.3 million millage grant will help fill those gaps by providing WISD with the resources needed to respond to the youth mental health crisis along three tiers: universal prevention, early prevention, and referral and crisis services.
Tier 1. Universal prevention
Tier 2. Early prevention
Tier 3. Referral and crisis services
For three years, Washtenaw County Community Mental Health (WCCMH) and the Washtenaw Intermediate School District have worked together to provide school-based adolescent mental health services using state and millage funding. The millage has also provided funding for youth mental health programming to community partners, including Corner Health Center, the National Alliance on Mental Illness - Washtenaw County, the National Center for Youth Opportunity and Justice, Ozone House, Washtenaw County Children's Services, Washtenaw County Health Department, Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office, and Ypsilanti Community Schools.
About the Public Safety and Mental Health Preservation Millage: Resources from Washtenaw County's Public Safety and Mental Health Preservation Millage first became available in January of 2019 and will continue to be available until 2024. If the millage is renewed by voters in the fall of 2024, these funds and the programs and services they make possible will continue into the future.