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Strengthening Mental Health in Education

Oregon has received almost $11 million in federal funds to address the critical mental health needs of Oregon's school communities.

The $5.4 million Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education) award will augment Oregon’s Strengthening Mental Health in Education (SMHiE) Initiative by fortifying state and local project management infrastructure and extending the existing $5.5 million ESSER III-funded 2-year project period to 5 years (through September 2027).

The Strengthening Mental Health in Education (SMHiE) Initiative addresses the considerable need for a robust, community-driven, linguistically and culturally responsive behavioral health infrastructure in Oregon school communities. The Initiative consists of 4 primary components:

1. Increasing mental health literacy via Oregon Classroom WISE, an asynchronous digital learning educational program and a large suite of accompanying resources

2. Developing and deploying credentialed behavioral health courses and professional learning communities.

3. Co-designing and implementing the Community Care Project (CCP) to enhance behavioral health infrastructure and workforce in four school districts that represent the racial/ethnic, linguistic, geographic, and socio-demographic diversity of Oregon. 

4. Understanding formative and summative project impact and recommendations for implementation, sustainability, and continuous quality improvement.

Measurable outcomes include increased mental health literacy, better identification of youth needing support, improved service referral, augmented suicide prevention, intervention and postvention efforts, enhanced student and staff health and well-being, school climates embodying belonging, care and connection, fewer disciplinary referrals, and improved academic success.

Fulfillment of these goals will include significant engagement with students, families, school staff and leaders, professional organizations and community partners. For more information please contact Dr. B Grace Bullock, Senior Mental Health Officer, at

SMHiE 2.0 One-Pager

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