U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that the Putnam/Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES) will receive $100,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Center for Mental Health Services. The grant will be used to support training of community members and school personnel in mental health awareness, enabling them to better detect and respond to possible mental health disorders in children. The training will be open to anyone within the community and school district who interacts with children, including older students, further enabling them to better help their peers. With this funding, Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES hopes to become a local hub for training individuals and students in the field of children’s mental health.
“This much-needed funding will allow Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES to develop a program that will train community members, school staff, and students in mental health awareness, enabling them to better detect and address possible mental health disorders, particularly in children,” said Senator Schumer. “This program will be an investment in the health of an entire community, and I will continue to fight for this kind of funding for our local schools and community programs that aim to increase awareness surrounding mental health.”
“Making sure community members and school staff are properly trained to address and respond to mental health issues is critically important,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This funding will provide access to quality education and training, so that more students in the Hudson Valley have access to the resources and support they need.”
“We’re excited and honored at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES to have received a Project Aware grant. This will enable us to provide critical training to teachers, clergy, law enforcement and others on how to recognize and respond to signs of mental illness in children and young adults,” said Adam VanDerStuyf, Director of Special Education and Guidance & Child Study at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES. “And we are very grateful to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for bringing this resource to our region.”