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ABAG Member: Bainum Family Foundation Announces $4.1 M Investment in School-Based Mental Health

Tuesday, November 7, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Clapp Communications
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Source: Bainum Family Foundation

Building on its commitment to improve the lives of children and families living in poverty in the District of Columbia’s Wards 7 and 8, the Bainum Family Foundation today announced investments of $4.1 million over four years to expand school-based mental health services in these wards.

This work will help the Foundation meet its 2020 strategic goal of adding 2,000 wrap-around support seats in Wards 7 and 8 to increase students’ social-emotional well-being, while sharing knowledge and lessons learned with the mental health field. It also complements the Foundation’s existing investments in early learning and food access for these same neighborhoods.

Conducted in partnership with the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools (CHHCS), part of the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, this effort began in 2016 with a comprehensive needs assessment in the District and a year-long learning partnership with two District charter schools (DC Prep and Monument Academy).

Findings of this initial work supported the development of a three-year strategy to increase mental health supports available to children and families in Wards 7 and 8 and to advance the overall field of school-based mental health. The strategy, which is being launched this Fall, includes:

  • Identifying a group of four charter elementary and middle schools in Wards 7 and 8 to participate in a Community of Practice. CHHCS and the Foundation will provide three years of training and technical assistance in the areas of mental health data, coordination and universal prevention as each school implements best practices tailored to its unique needs and then evaluates outcomes.
  • Convening and leading a District-wide Learning Community of local school-based mental health stakeholders (practitioners, researchers, policy makers and school administrators) to leverage existing expertise and coordinate and share resources. The group will launch in January and meet bimonthly.
  • Working with national partners — including CHHCS; the Center for School Mental Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine; and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — to connect and convene national experts to advance school-based mental health. The goal of these meetings is to discuss local, state and federal strategies to strengthen the availability and quality of school-based mental health services for children, youth and families. The first of a series of meetings took place in D.C. in September 2017. The Foundation will be a key partner in gathering and disseminating relevant information to help strengthen the field.

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