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Bradley County Schools receives mental health services grant

Bradley County Schools released a statement yesterday announcing that it has been awarded a School-Based Mental Health Services grant from the U.S. Department of Education in the amount of $9,584,011. These funds will cover nearly 73% of the five-year grant program’s total costs, with the remaining 27% ($3,586,443) to come in the form of matching funds and in-kind contributions made by Bradley County Schools and its partner organizations.


 Bradley County Schools’ grant program, known as BEST, will serve all of the school district’s students. The program will improve and expand the district’s recruitment and retention strategies, with the goal of hiring 11 school-based mental health providers (6 school social workers, 4 school counselors, and 1 school psychologist) in Year 1 and retaining them over time.


The School System feels the BEST program will positively impact the district by decreasing provider-to-student ratios and making it faster and easier for students to access school-based mental health services.


Bradley County Schools Director, Dr. Linda Cash said, “Bradley County Schools is excited to receive the School-Based Mental Health Services grant. We are committed to focusing on the whole child and this funding will allow us to provide much needed support and services to our students, families, and school faculties through the additional school-based mental health service providers and ongoing professional development.”


Six community partners will provide guidance and assistance in the planning and implementation of the program: Centerstone Counseling, McNabb Center, Lee University, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Southern Adventist University, and United Way of the Ocoee Region.