RALEIGH — During yesterday’s visit to Charlotte, Vice President Kamala Harris announced $285 million in national funding for school mental health through the Safer Communities Act. North Carolina is expected to received $12 million or the equivalent of 332 new mental health counselors.
Increased funding for physical and mental health support for students was one of four legislative priorities for NCAE during the past legislative session. Just last week, a new report showed North Carolina schools fall below the recommended ratios for counselors, nurses, social workers and psychologists.
“This injection of funding comes at a critical time when North Carolina schools are constrained by employee shortages and vacancies. Our teachers and school employees are often on the front lines when addressing mental health challenges for students,” said Tamika Walker Kelly, NCAE President. “More mental health professionals in our schools can provide treatment for more students in need and we can prevent more violent behavior before it starts.”
NCAE will continue to track this funding to ensure that the schools, school districts, and the state maximize the number of new mental health professionals in our schools so more students will receive additional care.