Grants for School-Based Mental Health Providers Announced


Published on October 5, 2022

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) released the Notice Inviting Applications for two grants funded by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA). These grants are part of the Biden Administration's goal of “doubling the number of school-based mental health professionals.”  

Over the past couple of years, through presentations, blogs, and other communications, I have tried to raise awareness of the need for mental health services for students due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. The need for bilingual mental health providers for our multilingual learner (ML, a.k.a. English learner - EL) students is critical because of the lack of mental health providers who are bilingual or multilingual.

School-Based Mental Health Services (SBMH) Grant 

The School-Based Mental Health Services (SBMH) grant provides funding "to increase the number of credentialed school-based mental health professionals." The SBMH grants are competitive grants that state education agencies (SEAs), local education agencies (LEAs), and consortia of LEAs can apply to receive. The USED anticipates annually awarding approximately 150 grants averaging $1.75 million each over the next five years. 

Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration (MHSP) Grants 

The Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration (MHSP) grants are different because they target the mental health professional pipeline. While I'm excited about both grant programs, this second program is very encouraging because it targets student populations from diverse backgrounds, including MLs.  

The MHSP grant supports hiring "additional school-based mental health service providers in high-need districts by boosting the mental health profession pipeline." This grant includes innovative partnerships between institutes of higher education (IHEs) and districts to prepare qualified school-based mental health services providers from diverse backgrounds or who come from the communities they serve. USED anticipates annually awarding approximately 250 grants averaging $800,000 each over the next five years. 

The press release on USED's webpage provides more information and links to additional resources. 

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In-Text Citations:  

“Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Funds to Increase the Number of School-Based Mental Health Providers in Schools Provided Through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act | U.S. Department of Education,” October 3, 2022. Website. 

Dr. David Holbrook

About The Author

Dr. David Holbrook is a nationally recognized leader in federal programs administration and monitoring with expertise in Title I, Title III, Native American Education, and Federal Programs. Dr. Holbrook has also worked as a consultant with Title III of the US Department of Education and now serves as Executive Director, Federal Compliance and State Relationships with TransAct.