Shapiro-Davis Administration Is Delivering on Its Promise to Invest in Student Mental Health

January 26, 2024

Lt. Gov. Austin Davis Visits South Fayette High School to Highlight $90M in Student Mental Health Grants Available for Pennsylvania Schools

SOUTH FAYETTE TOWNSHIP, PA – At a roundtable discussion today at South Fayette High School in Allegheny County, Lt. Gov. Austin Davis highlighted additional resources available for Pennsylvania schools to provide expanded mental health services and supports for students.

“Pennsylvania kids need more support and more services to help them stay safe and healthy, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally, too,” said Davis. “One of Governor Shapiro’s top priorities in the state budget last year was investing more in student mental health, so schools have the resources they need to provide the services and support our kids need. We delivered on that promise by investing $90 million in student mental health grants for schools across the Commonwealth.”

Pennsylvania schools have until Feb. 29 to apply for $90 million total in student mental health grants, which are administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, which Davis chairs. The Shapiro-Davis Administration secured $100 million in funding for student mental health services and resources in the 2023-24 bipartisan budget.

“Prioritizing the mental health of students is not just a compassionate endeavor but an essential foundation for effective learning,” said South Fayette Township School District Superintendent Dr. Michelle Miller. “A student’s well-being is the cornerstone upon which their academic success and personal growth are built. We are grateful for the Commonwealth’s commitment to supporting our students’ needs.”

School districts, charter schools, intermediate units and career and technical schools are eligible to apply for the non-competitive grants. Schools can use the student mental health grants to hire counselors, social workers or school psychologists; to provide staff training; to partner with community-based organizations for peer or family support; to expand telemedicine delivery of school-based mental health services; or other eligible programs.

“We know that for learners to do their best, they must feel their best, and this funding will provide targeted resources to improve mental health outcomes in schools and communities,” said Pennsylvania Department of Education Deputy Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Dr. Carrie Rowe. “At PDE, we are committed to ensuring all students can learn, thrive, and achieve, and that starts with having access to critical mental health supports.”

The state budget’s $100 million allocation for student mental health also includes:

  • $5 million to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for training of school-based mental health professionals and to establish certification pathways
  • $5 million to the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) for the School Mental Health Internship Grant Program
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Lt. Gov. Austin Davis at roundtable on student mental health at South Fayette High School; additional photos and video available at PACast.com

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