• Mon. Sep 25th, 2023

Kennesaw State targets in-college mental well being gaps applying $four.five million federal grant


Jun 5, 2023
Kennesaw State targets in-school mental health gaps using $4.5 million federal grant

Jun five, 2023

Photo of Monica NandanMonica Nandan
Bringing necessary college-primarily based mental well being sources into 5 rural northwest Georgia
counties is the aim of a 5-year, federally funded project led by Kennesaw State

An interdisciplinary group headed by Monica Nandan, director of strategic partnerships and social effect in Kennesaw State’s Wellstar College of Wellness and Human Solutions, has been awarded a $four.45 million grant by the U.S. Division of Education. Faculty
from the Wellstar College and the Bagwell College of Education will collaborate on the project to bring Master of Social Operate students and specially
educated student teachers into Georgia public schools in Bartow, Floyd, Gordon, Paulding
and Polk counties, as properly as present specialized intervention instruction to teachers
and college-primarily based police officers there.

Nandan stated higher poverty prices in the project region, along with other stressors exacerbated
by the coronavirus pandemic, have meant a increasing level of anxiousness, depression and
other adverse effects on the mental well being of students. The restricted numbers of college
psychologists and counselors are not adequate to meet all student wants, she stated.

“School social workers are necessary to do points that psychologists and counselors do not do – assist connect students and their households to neighborhood sources,” Nandan stated. “They manage referrals to neighborhood sources, addressing the wants of students’ households, who may well have endured layoffs or other challenges. Something that impacts a child’s life – that is affecting them academically – the social workers can assist.”

More than 5 years, 50 Master of Social Operate students and 80 student teachers will be
educated to serve students in public schools in the target counties. The participating
social perform students will sign a commitment to perform at least a single year soon after graduation
in a single of the 5 college districts, or with a social service agency that serves youngsters
inside the 5-county project region. In addition, Kennesaw State educators will present
mental well being instruction to teachers and college-primarily based police officers in the 5 counties
twice a year.

Along with Wellstar College group members Irene McClatchey, professor emeritus of Social Operate Alan Kirk Master of Social Operate plan director Victoria Corrigan, MSW internship director, Jennifer Wade-Berg, assistant dean for student achievement and Allison Garefino study scholar – social, behavioral and well being sciences the project entails collaboration with Megan Adams, associate professor of reading education in the Bagwell College of Education, and Latesia Woodley, CEO of Dynamic Achievement.

The members of the project group and their college technique partners are recruiting Master
of Social Operate students now who will intern in the college systems beginning in August.
Subsequent spring, they will commence recruiting student teachers to pair with the social perform
students starting in August 2024.

The student social workers and student teachers will perform as a group to determine students
with wants and connect them to neighborhood sources that can assist. The aim is to establish
a pipeline of educated experts to perform in interprofessional dyads and teams,
with adequate traction to continue soon after the 5-year project period, Nandan stated.

In addition to the perform in northwest Georgia, the Wellstar College received a $92,500
subaward from Georgia State University to train up to eight Master of Social Operate
students to perform in the Clayton County college district.

These efforts are element of a bigger work by Wellstar College in mental well being that
has attracted regional, state and federal funding for many projects given that 2019, Nandan

The existing project builds on a comparable 4-year project begun in 2021 to train KSU students to present substance abuse and suicide prevention solutions for youth in the exact same 5-county region. That ongoing work is funded by a $1 million grant from the Wellness Resource and Solutions Administration (HRSA). 

“We’re creating a vital mass right here at Kennesaw State in behavioral well being in terms of how we are instruction folks for the workforce, though at the exact same time serving our neighboring communities,” Nandan stated.

–      By Gary Tanner

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A leader in revolutionary teaching and finding out, Kennesaw State University presents undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its far more than 43,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University Technique of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, powerful worldwide ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from all through the nation and the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral study institution (R2), putting it amongst an elite group of only 7 % of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For far more details, stop by kennesaw.edu.

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