ESD 105 using $4 million grant to improve Yakima Co. students’ mental health care

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. — Educational Service District 105 is expanding a trauma-informed mental heath care program for students to include early learning programs and four additional school districts.

ESD 105 student support director Emily Nelson said the goal is to improve access to mental health care beyond that which a school counselor can provide, including diagnosis, therapy and if needed, medication prescribed by a doctor contracted with the program.

“We know that our students who are from historically disadvantaged groups oftentimes have more difficulty accessing the services that they need and so we’re really trying to eliminate those barriers,” Nelson said.

Behavioral health services through the program, Together 105, are already available at schools in the Yakima, East Valley, Cle Elum, Ellensburg, Royal, Wahluke, Selah, Wapato, Zillah, Granger and Sunnyside school districts.

Nelson said with the nearly $4 million they’re receiving from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s  Trauma Informed Services in Schools grant, they’ll expand to include the:

  • Naches Valley School District in Naches
  • Highland School District in Cowiche
  • Mabton School District in Mabton
  • Mount Adams School District in White Swan

Nelson said they have received the first round of funding and plan to start the hiring process for the new positions covered under the grant starting this week.

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