Troy University gets grant to improve mental health resources in Alabama schools

Troy University is putting a $1.3 million grant toward bettering mental health resources in Alabama schools.
Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 7:56 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 14, 2023 at 10:14 PM CST
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TROY, Ala. (WSFA) - Troy University received a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The university is putting it toward bettering mental health resources in Alabama schools.

“The critical shortage of school counselors and school-based mental health professionals in our schools is a burden,” said Troy University’s counseling school chairwoman, Sherrionda Crawford.

Alabama is well below the national average when it comes to the number of school counselors in the state. The national average is one counselor for every 200 students. In Alabama, some schools are seeing one counselor for every 600 students.

With the help of this grant, 30 Troy University students in the counseling school will learn tools needed to counsel children up to 5 years old to help reduce the mental health crisis schools are currently facing.

“We’ve seen a lot of anxiety post-COVID. We see a deficit in education attainment post-COVID. Behavior issues, again post-COVID,” said Crawford.

The knowledge learned will be instilled in five school systems, including Coffee, Crenshaw, Geneva, Montgomery and Macon counties. These schools were eligible with may not have the same resources as city schools.

“The students who will likely receive these scholarships also live in the community, and so not only will they be able to provide those services within the schools, they will really impact the entire community,” said Crawford.

The school is yet to announce the 30 students selected.

At least 40,000 students will be impacted by this help.

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