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Jackson County ISD awarded $500,000 behavioral health grant to create a system of care, intervention for students

August 27, 2019

Jackson, Mich. – Young children and families of Jackson County will benefit from a $500,000 grant awarded to the Jackson County Intermediate School District by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.

The Jackson County ISD will use the $500,000 to support an integrated system of care for the youngest of students (birth to age 8) to help streamline the way behavioral health is provided. The goal of the project is to build a system that effectively identifies who needs support, determines what support is needed and provides services and supports that meet the need.

As part of the Health Fund project, the Jackson County ISD and its partners will implement needs assessment and readiness planning and provide learning opportunities for Early Childhood staff. A Community School Engagement Specialist will be hired to screen and identify children who may need additional behavioral health support and partner with families to connect them to services and help them navigate systems. A triage process will be developed and utilized within a case consultation process to match children with appropriate services and supports to meet their needs. Lastly, the community and schools will partner to provide behavioral health services to children in a more streamlined and coordinated fashion.

Janelle Buchler, the Whole Child Consultant with the Jackson County ISD, says the project will help meet the needs of the youngest members of the Jackson community so they can enter school ready to learn, and to reach their full potential. “We know that many families experience barriers as they try to get help for their children when they are struggling. Teachers, school staff and parents tell us that handling disruptive behavior is an ongoing struggle and that the mental health needs of their students are a great concern,” says Buchler. “We know our systems can be fragmented and very difficult to navigate - showing a great need for continued collaboration and coordination among service providers, schools and across sectors.”

The funding is coming from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund’s Behavioral Health program. The Jackson County Intermediate School District’s project was one of twenty across the state awarded a total of nearly $7.8 million in grant funding to help address the most pressing mental health challenges in Michigan.

Kaci Babineau
kaci.babineau@jcisd.org
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