NewsPinellas County

Actions

Pinellas County Schools to approve $4M mental health plan to expand services for students

Mental health generic
Posted at 7:44 AM, Jul 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-26 08:05:33-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — The Pinellas County School Board is meeting on Tuesday to approve the district’s mental health plan for the 2022-2023 school year.

If approved, the plan will provide $4,366,321 in state funding for the expansion of mental health services.

That money will go to things like:

  • More mental health and suicide prevention training for staff and students
  • Substance abuse prevention and intervention
  • Hiring more mental health experts
  • Improving the process of identifying students with mental health issues like depression and anxiety

The Pinellas County School District’s expanded mental health plan includes increased access to student services.

More school counselors, school psychologists, and school social workers will be hired to reduce the ratio of students to staff.

RELATED:

It further ensures safety and wellness throughout the district.

Pinellas County currently utilizes the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System which allows individuals to report acts of violence, risk of harm to self or others, or any other incidents of violence.

PCS has two mental health liaisons whose full-time jobs are to monitor and coordinate responses and follow-up for students who voice suicidal ideations.

Part of the district’s continued mental health training is teaching students how to identify warning signs, deploy escalation strategies, identify when someone is in crisis, and seek appropriate help.

Middle and high school students were trained by a team of prevention specialists on how to identify warning signs, how to report an incident and the importance of reporting.

So far, the district has received more than 10,000 tips.

This mental health plan is expected to be approved at Tuesday’s meeting.

The meeting starts at 5 p.m.