MSUM receives $6.7 million to address mental health needs in Pre-K-12 schools
The five-year grant aims to fill mental health professional vacancies and increase diversity, recruitment, training and placement of graduate students serving rural and tribal schools.
MOORHEAD — Saying the shortage of mental health professionals in schools, especially in rural areas of Minnesota and North Dakota is dire, he U.S. Department of Education awarded Minnesota State University Moorhead $6.7 million from to address mental health needs in Pre-K-12 schools.
The five-year Infuse Mental Health grant aims to fill mental health professional vacancies and to increase the diversity, recruitment, training and placement of graduate students serving rural and tribal schools, according to an MSUM press release.
Partners include 18 Minnesota and North Dakota school districts, Turtle Mountain Tribal Community College and 16 other collaborating cooperatives, professional organizations and state agencies.
MSUM is the primary source to train and provide ongoing development of school counselors and school psychologists for Fargo-Moorhead and the surrounding region, according to the press release.
Minnesota has one counselor for every 792 students, according to the release. Nearly 30% of ninth-grade girls in Minnesota reported long-term mental or emotional health issues, and reports of suicide increased for all grade levels in the last six years, according to Minnesota Student Survey 2019.
In North Dakota, a similar survey called North Dakota Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2021, reported 18.6% of students seriously considered attempting suicide, according to the press release.
MSUM's psychology and school counseling graduate programs collaborated on Infuse Mental Health to reduce the costs for MSUM students entering the graduate programs and engage local, rural and tribal schools struggling to fill mental health professional vacancies, according to the release.
Through the grant, students can apply for scholarships of at least $10,000 per year and up to $20,000 per student.