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AWARE—Advancing Wellness And Resilience in Education

Contact

Stephen Rock
Email: rock@unr.edu
Phone: 775-784-6385

The Nevada Department of Education has received five-year grant (approximately $2 million per year) from US Department of Health and Human Service, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to implement comprehensive approach to increase the youth mental health prevention and intervention capacity in three of Nevadas frontier counties. Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness And Resilience in Education), part of the Now is the Time (NITT) initiative, Nevadas plan will implement a coordinated effort that engages stakeholders that interact with school-aged children at all levels. This approach includes communication, outreach, education, treatment, and support programs for youth and young adults in Nevada (school aged youth), who either have, or are at risk of developing a serious mental illness or substance abuse disorder, and could be at a higher risk for suicide. Nevadas vision is for all schools to be safe and respectful, and all students to have strong social, emotional and mental health. More importantly for this project, to ensure there is seamless access to mental health support and service when needed or requested.

The three local education agencies (LEAs) participating in this initiative include: Pershing County School District (PCSD), Lander County School District (LCSD), and Humboldt County School District (HBSD). This focus includes working in a collaborative effort with the Nevada community services providers to develop systematic changes to ensure that no Nevada youth or young adult falls through the cracks. This project will work to:

  1. Provide a safe and respectful learning environment for all of our students through increasing mental health literacy of adults who interact with school-aged youth;
  2. Promote the behavioral and mental health of students through school-based prevention and early identification efforts increasing the awareness of mental health issues among school-aged youth; and
  3. Build awareness, connection and infrastructure across local and state entities that increase capacity to provide access to mental health support.

Through this project, students will increase their social and emotional skills with a reduction of youth with serious mental health issues. Individuals that interact with our youth will be trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) to enable them to better recognize and assist youth in need of intervention. 

In addition to Project AWARD, Nevada has also received a five-year grant from the US Department of Education for School Climate Transformation Program that will help schools implement school-wide positive behavioral support in the same three school districts

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