U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary Deborah Delisle will give remarks at the 10th annual National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on Thursday, May 7, in Washington, D.C. She will discuss the importance of safe and supportive school climates in the overall academic success of students, as well as the role of schools and communities in meeting the mental health needs of students. Delisle will join the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell.
Delisle also will highlight the more than $24.8 million in Elementary and Secondary School Counseling grants awarded by the Department to establish or expand counseling programs. The new awards will aid schools in hiring qualified mental-health professionals with the goal of expanding the range, availability, quantity and quality of counseling services. Funds also may be used to support parental involvement, counselor and teacher professional development, and collaboration with community-based organizations that provide mental health and other services to students.
In addition, Delisle will discuss the federal role in addressing children’s mental health needs. She will highlight existing programs at the Department that provide support to schools and communities, and the President’s 2016 budget request that includes additional funding for programs focused entirely on wraparound services, such as Promise Neighborhoods and Full-Service Community Schools. Additionally, Delisle will highlight the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge grants that states are using to help ensure that their early learning systems address the mental health needs of families with children birth through age 5.