Denver Public Schools has secured more than $500,000 in funding that will go towards strengthening and expanding the district’s mental health services in its more than 200 schools.
The $596,200 grant was awarded to the district by the Caring for the Denver Foundation and will contribute to the district’s ongoing initiative to improve mental health services for its students.
“These funds will go a long way to increasing and improving the support our schools can provide to our scholars,” Superintendent Dr. Alex Marrero said in a press release. “Just like school districts across the country, we are seeing an increase in the number of students who need extra support to feel safe. Without it, learning can be difficult.”
The district said it plans to use the funds over a three-year period. The money will primarily be used to pay salaries for three full-time positions: a hospitality specialist and two therapy service providers, according to the statement.
The Admissions Specialist will offer case management and resource referrals to students at any of the district’s pathway schools, while Therapeutic Service Providers are social workers and school psychologists who provide services to all students.
Any remaining money will be spent to train 20 school social workers and school psychologists in trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy, and expand current culturally appropriate and trauma-informed practices, according to the district.