Indiana Department of Education Announces Project AWARE Expansion to Further Support School-Based Wellbeing Across the State

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) today announced expanded funding for Indiana Schools to further increase awareness for mental and emotional wellbeing, while improving connections to available mental health services. Expanded funding was made available through the Project Advancing Wellness and Resilience Education (AWARE) grant provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“The social and emotional wellbeing of our students and staff is an important component to being prepared and actively engaged in education,” said State Superintendent Dr. Jennifer McCormick. “Further expanding our Project AWARE efforts, allows Indiana to create and continue lasting partnerships focused on developing effective and successful mental health practices and resources.”

In 2018, IDOE was awarded the Project AWARE grant. In partnership with the Family and Social Services Administration’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction and local community mental health organizations, IDOE selected three districts focused on creating models of effective mental health practices for replication across Indiana. Through a competitive process, Avon Community School Corporation, Perry Central Community School Corporation, and Vigo County School Corporation were the initial sites selected.

Looking to further the efforts of Project AWARE, IDOE has selected eight additional partnership districts. The state has also created the all new Change the Frequency campaign- a campaign focused on raising awareness around the stigma of mental health in schools and communities. The campaign provides students, faculty, and support systems with easy-to-understand tools and practices centered around recognizing the ways in which one’s own social, emotional, and mental wellbeing can be influenced, and working to change that individual’s wellbeing and overall quality of life.

Selected districts, their community mental health partners, and amounts include:

  • Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation – Youth First, Inc. – $35,000
  • Hamilton Southeastern Schools – Community Health Network – $58,000
  • Milan Community School Corporation – One Community, One Family – $60,000
  • MSD of Wayne Township – Cummins – $60,000
  • Sheridan Community Schools – Kids Pysch, Inc. – $59,000
  • Westfield Washington Schools – St. Vincent Behavioral Health/Aspire – $58,000
  • South Bend Community School Corporation – Oaklawn Psychiatric Center – $60,000
  • Southeast Neighborhood School of Excellence – Cummins – $60,000

For more information on Project AWARE, including an overview of the impact of services to date and a link to the Change the Frequency promotional video, please visit: www.projectawarein.org. To learn more about Indiana’s work addressing student wellbeing within schools, please visit: www.doe.in.gov/SEBW.

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