New budget for Bham schools includes $1 mil for mental health—learn more

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Birmingham, Birmingham City Schools
Taken before COVID-19. Photo via Birmingham City Schools.

Mental health matters to the Birmingham City Councilors. On Tuesday, September 28th, the city council voted and approved $1 million in aid to Birmingham City Schools (BCS). This means you’ll see more mental health services for students.

Mental health in BCS

Birmingham city school + mental health services
Mental health services will be accessible to students and teachers. Photo via Birmingham City School Facebook

For the last year and a half, the pandemic has changed many students’ lives around school. Sadly, eight employees and one student have passed from COVID-19 in Birmingham City Schools. Birmingham City Schools wants to take action and bring in counselors to help students healthily grasp their environment.

BCS values in-class learning and has dedicated its mission to keep students in school. But they know this transition might be difficult. They believe by providing mental health services, they can help students cope effectively.

“They’re dealing with depression. They’re experiencing losses of loved ones. They are experiencing traumatic events due to social injustices that have existed for the last 18 months, aside from COVID, and some of the things that fell into play with those issues.”

Courtney Nelson, Director Social Emotional Learning

What to expect

Mental health services include engagment
Do you or your kids feel supported at school? Photo via Birmingham City Schools Facebook

Thanks to the work of the Birmingham Coalition for Student Mental Health, BCS has prioritized mental health in schools.

Who makes up this group? The coalition is made up of 27 local organizations that include students, parents and community advocates. Together this group came up with a policy playbook for schools to follow.

Currently, Superintendent Mark Sullivan and the Board of Education are in the process of hiring a mental health coordinator. Using the policy playbook, BCS will offer a community-driven program for supporting student and teacher mental health.

We look forward to how this guide will strengthen mental health in our schools.

Stay updated on all the latest Birmingham news by following us @bhamnow.

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Summer Guffey
Art enthusiast and expert on all things tea.
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