This session will center around students’ mental and behavioral health and wellness in schools (grades PK-12). With representatives from the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), we will discuss priority focus areas and examples of current initiatives in this realm, including highlights from efforts during the pandemic. We will consider the context of recent federal funding streams available to districts (e.g., ESSER), and what data sources may be available to provide insights into student and community strengths and challenges in this realm. The conversation will also include identifying funding gaps and current needs relating to students’ mental and behavioral health and wellness in schools (PK-12)
The overview will be provided by Rachelle Engler Bennett, DESE’s Associate Commissioner, Student and Family Support. She will be joined by colleagues including Chris Pond, DESE’s Behavioral and Mental Health Specialist. The session will be moderated by Network members Jessica Castro of the Trefler Foundation and Rebecca Donham of the Metrowest Health Foundation.
The last 30 minutes of the session is dedicated to funder-only conversation, updates, and networking.
About the Network:
The Behavioral Health Funders' Network (Network) is a state-wide network of funders working in the area of behavorial and mental health and wellness. For over 4 years the Network has been meeting regularly for peer learning, knowledge sharing, and relationship building. Key norms of this Network are trust, confidentiality, and a learning/growth mindset.
The stated goals of the Network are: 1) Improve behavioral health services by providing a space and opportunity for learning from one another, and 2) Exchange information with the potential for collaboration on projects ranging in size from large, overarching initiatives to smaller community-based projects.
Zoom information will be sent via email in advance of the session.