HealthIT education

Federal spending bill to fund school-based mental health services in Central Oregon

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announced Friday that key provisions for education and health care will be provided in the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill, including one that will have a specific, positive impact here on schools across the High Desert.

That portion of the bill will fund the staffing and professional development of mental health services in education.

“This investment in our school-based mental and behavioral health services will fundamentally and profoundly shift our educational systems across Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties, including Warm Springs,” says Jim Boen, regional director of mental and behavioral health for the High Desert Education Service District. 

“It will dramatically strengthen our ability as educators to create school environments that nurture resilience by caring for all students and staff impacted by trauma. It will allow us to grow trauma-informed cultures of care for 45,000 children and youth ages 3-18 in our region and the dedicated educators and staff who serve them.”

Boen says the goal is to create a systemic culture approach to supporting mental health, by providing adults in education the coaching resources to support students both in and out of the classroom.

Noah Chast will be speaking with Boen today to learn about how important these funds will be. You can watch the full report tonight on NewsChannel 21 at Five.

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