This project will increase the number and diversity of mental health providers from the University of Georgia’s School Counseling and School Psychology programs who will provide contextualized mental health services in five high-need schools in a high-need LEA in rural northern Georgia. In collaboration with these schools and community partners, this project will provide a diverse group of trainees didactic and experiential training to prepare them to administer evidence-based mental and behavioral health services to K-12 students that are inclusive in terms of race/ethnicity, culture, language and sexual self-identity.
Proposed Project Outcomes: The project’s primary outcomes are the: (1) numbers and demographics of students trained and placed in high-need LEAs; (2) numbers and demographics of trainees hired by high-need LEAs and schools; (3) numbers and demographics of students and families served; and (4) trainees’ abilities to provide culturally-contextualized treatments to students from diverse groups. Number of LEAs to Be Served: One high-need LEA with Rural and Low Income School status (Madison County GA School District) and five high-need schools will be served (3 elementary, 1 middle school, and 1 high school). All are economically-impoverished, have high participation rates in free/reduced school lunch programs and have zero mental health professionals on staff.
Number of Students to Be Served: Across the participating high school, middle school, and three elementary schools, this project has the potential to interact with as many as 4,200 K-12 students.
Number of Providers to Be Hired: This project will train 50 graduate students in the University of Georgia’s School Counseling Program (N=40) and School Psychology Program (N=10). All trainees will be mentored to obtain employment as mental health professionals in high-need LEAs and high-need schools in Georgia or other states upon graduation.
Funder: U.S. Department of Education
PI: Bernadette Heckman, Mary Frances Early College of Education