Shoals area schools receive grant to add mental health professional

Mental Health Grant

MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WAFF) - A newly awarded grant from the State Department of Education will allow Shoals area schools to add a mental health professional to their staff.

“Until I have them emotionally, physically, and mentally healthy, a lot of the things that I am going to do educationally their not going to be impactful,” said Muscle Shoals Assistant Superintendent Denise Woods.

That’s why Muscle Shoals city schools applied for a grant to bring in a mental health service coordinator

They were recently awarded $40,000 to bring in a district-level coordinator.

“We’re going to bring that person in to help our counselors when they are dealing with more severe, more serious mental health issues,” said Woods.

The vision is for the coordinator to be the liaison between counselors in the school and resources in the community.

She says school counselors are still critical.

“We have to have them know and be able to recognize ok I’ve reached a point with this child that we’re going to need resources beyond what we can provide in school,” said Woods.

Woods says this mental health coordinator is crucial because school leaders have seen an increase in students dealing with mental health issues over the last few years.

She wants to make sure students don’t have barriers to success.

“When children have the right support when it comes to mental health then educationally we can do so much more and anything we can do to improve their education improves their quality of life,” said Woods.

Muscle Shoals City Schools hopes to have the position filled by October 5th.

Colbert County’s School system received the same grant.

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