Guilford County Schools will receive $14.8 million from the U.S. Department of Education for school-based mental health services.

The funds will go towards expanding mental health supports at 61 schools, and allow the district to create 16 new, full-time mental health clinician positions over the next five years. 

During a Board of Education meeting on Jan. 10, Superintendent Whitney Oakley said the community has made it clear that mental health needs to be a priority.

“Through our community conversations, we’ve spoken a great deal about the need for increased mental health services for both students and staff," Oakley said. "And the recent tragedies in our community underscore how urgent that need truly is. Mental health will continue to be an area of focus for our district as we work to build a brighter future together."

GCS will also provide $3.7 million, which is a 25% match to the federal contribution. Combined, the total investment in these mental health supports comes to about $18.5 million.

Amy Diaz covers education for WFDD in partnership with Report For America. You can follow her on Twitter at @amydiaze.

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