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California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #14-101
October 3, 2014
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

Torlakson Announces Grant to Strengthen Mental Health Training in Schools

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced the California Department of Education will receive up to $9.7 million for a pilot project that will ultimately make schools safer places for students to learn. The Now is the Time Project Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education grant comes from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [] External link opens in new window or tab..

"With the help of this grant, I am pleased California is working to strengthen and increase the current mental health programs we have for students," said Torlakson. "There is a clear need for school workers to receive mental health and wellness training to identify and support students who are experiencing emotional issues."

The federal grant will pay for 1,875 school staff members and other people who interact with students to receive training to improve their mental health literacy. The trainees will learn, for example, how to identify and respond to mental health issues in students, get them and their families the appropriate help, and create safe school environments. The trainees will then train others around the state. The five-year pilot project will be in three educational agencies: Garden Grove Unified in Orange County, Santa Rosa City Schools in Sonoma County, and the San Diego County Office of Education.

This grant helps further Torlakson's initiative, A Blueprint for Great Schools, which calls for leadership in helping districts develop their mental health services for students.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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