Dane County school districts to get combined $1.5M in funding for mental health initiatives

MADISON, Wis. — A dozen local school districts may soon get help from the county to provide mental health services for students amid the ongoing pandemic.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced Tuesday the county plans to spend a total of $1.5 million in federal funds on grants that will support mental health initiatives by providing materials, trainings and other resources to area school districts.

“We know the behavioral health needs of young people will outlast this pandemic, so this assistance is designed to get extra supports in place prior to heading back to school this fall,” Parisi said. “This work enhances the school-based mental health teams the county and 10 school districts already partner on, known as ‘Building Bridges.’ This is further reflection of the county’s commitment to improving the wellbeing of students and, in turn, the educational outcomes of our next generation.”

The Verona Area School District will receive the largest grant totaling $525,000. The Madison Metropolitan School district will receive more than $454,000, and the Oregon School District will get roughly $103,000.

Other smaller districts, including Middleton Cross Plains, Mount Horeb, Waunakee, Wisconsin Heights, Monona Grove, Lodi, DeForest and Belleville will also receive grants of varying sizes.

The Dane County Board’s Health and Human Needs Committee will review a resolution on the grants next week. The full board is expected to consider the grants.