Southbridge Public Schools Receives Grant for Student Mental Health

A grant from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) is providing funds for Southbridge Public Schools to launch a program aimed at delivering mental health care to students in crisis.

The Bridge for Resilient Youth in Transition program, a tiered in-school program developed by the Brookline Center for Community Mental Health, equips schools with the resources to help students through mental health disruptions by creating an individualized plan addressing academics and mental health.

“We have students that have significant social/emotional or mental health needs, that require more than just a once a week session with a counselor,” said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kelly Williamson.

The grant funds the positions of clinical coordinator and academic coordinator at West Street Elementary School, Charlton Street Elementary School and Southbridge Middle School, as well as providing setup costs, totaling over $800,000 ($269,500 per school).

“As a district, we understand that students have to feel well if they’re going to achieve academically,” Dr. Williamson said.

The grant is one of several awarded to Southbridge Public Schools recently, aimed at improving student mental health. In January, SPS announced a partnership with Clark University to establish the Southbridge CARES project, aimed at improving mental health in Southbridge High School students and giving them access to college and career planning resources.