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AISD receives mental health services grant for elementary schools

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by Katy McElroy

The Austin Independent School District has received a grant from the Criminal Justice Division of the Office of the Governor. The funds are from the federal Victims of Crime Assistance Act of 1984 and AISD is the first district in Texas to receive money from this source. The district is getting almost $4.5 million “to provide mental health services to elementary children and their families who are victims of crime,” according to the press release. The money will be divided among 22 elementary schools that feed into LBJ, Lanier and Akins high schools. Each school will create a mental health center with two staff members to deliver “therapeutic services to students and families.” The district’s strength as an applicant for this grant was largely due to its existing mental health services programs at several middle and high schools, which started from a pilot at Crockett High School in 2011 and eventually spread to several other campuses. AISD’s assistant director of comprehensive health services, Tracy Spinner, said: “By providing mental health services on campus, we are able to identify, support, and efficiently provide clinical treatment for our students experiencing a variety of mental health issues. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to expand the number of campuses to elementary schools with direct access to this critical resource at no cost for families.”

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