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Mental Health in Schools Gain Support

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MEDFORD, Ore. — There is a new plan in Congress to boost mental-health programs in schools. The Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act proposes to fund programs and services for students with mental health issues.

This act would reauthorize federal programs by the Department of Education and Health and Human Services. Specifically, suicide prevention, child trauma and mental health programs. Currently in the Medford School District, North, South, and Central High Schools have guidance counselors.

For the elementary schools, there are mental health counselors available for students through community partnerships, like the Jackson County Mental Health Department or La Clinica.  The Medford School District and health department says the proposal would continue and fund existing services.

“Doing a lot of system-wide changes, and the law enforcement training. As well as the mental health first aid, which we have for trainers right here in the county and really move forward with the school district,” said Stacey Brubaker, with Jackson County Mental Health Department.

Medford School Superintendent Phil Long says every couple of years, staff also go through training with the Jackson County Mental Health Department. The Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act is headed to the House.