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School system receives grant connecting students to mental health professionals

Stanly County Schools was recently awarded a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to help connect students with mental health professionals in the area.

The grant, which totals more than $360,000, will install telemedicine and distance learning technology to connect the 20 schools with trained health professionals at Monarch’s Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic in Albemarle.

The use of telemedicine equipment will help create 20 virtual mental health care centers in the county.

The grant will help remove barriers to receiving mental health, provide early intervention and preventive health care, provide immediate access to crisis intervention teams for at-risk students and provide mental health support and counseling to students affected by the opioid crisis.

“In a rural county, it is hard to have mental health staff available for all needs,” said Superintendent Dr. Jeff James. “Telemedicine allows our few mental health specialists to do training at our 21 school sites through telepresence.”

“This brings Stanly County Schools total grant awards to just over 11 million dollars,” James added. “The grants we have been awarded are making a significant impact on learning and student behavior. We have much work to do and grants are making it possible.”

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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