A grant of $13.2 million has been awarded to support the establishment of wellness centers in schools throughout Santa Clara County

Santa Clara County officials and community partners have announced a $13.2 million grant aimed at enhancing mental health support in local schools. The grant, part of the Wellness Center Expansion Program, will be used to establish 28 new wellness centers and upgrade 12 existing ones in 40 middle and high schools across the county. The Valley Health Foundation, in collaboration with the County of Santa Clara Behavioral Health Services Department, will oversee the grant program. This initiative is part of Santa Clara County’s broader effort to enhance access to mental health resources, particularly for young people, as outlined in the Children’s Roadmap to Recovery initiative spearheaded by Susan Ellenberg, president of the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors, since April 2023.

The program is in response to a rise in depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and other mental health challenges among youth. Ellenberg emphasized the importance of destigmatizing mental health issues and ensuring that young people feel comfortable seeking help when needed. The wellness centers will provide a supportive environment for students to relax and access mental health services, including screenings, counseling, and referrals. They will also offer resources such as books, games, yoga, and music to help students unwind. Ellenberg stressed that investing in mental health resources is crucial for long-term well-being, as early intervention can reduce the risk of serious mental illnesses later in life.

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