As educators prepare for the coming academic year, mental health support is a top priority. The last couple years have made life and learning a challenging experience, and its impact on wide-spread mental health is unquestionable. Therefore, many academic institutions are searching for resources to help implement mental health support systems before students and staff return this fall.
In May, the White House released a fact sheet covering strategies and funding opportunities, such as the HEERF and ESSER grants, to help address the National Mental Health Crisis. In conjunction, the U.S. Department of Education is issuing new guidance to academic institutions on how to use their American Rescue Plan funds to provide more mental health and disorder-based services, including hiring mental health professionals, expanding virtual counseling support, offering stress-reduction activities, building peer support programs and establishing crisis hotlines.
The Wall Street Journal reports that of the 122 billion dollars in federal money set aside for the K-12 education system alone, 93 percent of available grant funds remain unspent and could be lost if not used by their respective deadlines. This makes summer break the perfect time to plan ahead and apply for these funding opportunities.
How to Use the Funding for Empowering Technology
The HEERF and ESSER grants, among others, can be used to implement technology that supports continued learning, preventative actions and better access to mental healthcare. This means phone systems, headsets, webcams, video conferencing solutions, telehealth stations and communications systems that can provide alerts. With improved voice and video technology, academic institutions can offer their students and staff more access to virtual counseling, telehealth resources, preventative actions and online learning options, no matter where they are. Reliable, flexible technology empowers educators with the tools they need to provide ongoing, comprehensive mental health support.
How Poly Can Help
The Poly Grants Assistance Program (PGAP) can help institutions navigate the complexities of ESSER, HEERF and numerous other federal funding opportunities. They offer a wide array of free services to guide you through the process—from grant identification and application to close-out. Their services include:
The PGAP team can usher your organization through the entire qualification process. Their network of consultants and grant-writing experts across the country specialize in helping you meet your specific needs. Where allowed by the agency, services can include writing and editing assistance, budget development and budget narrative recommendations to support your technology solutions.
Some organizations find the post-award process and required paperwork a bit intimidating. The PGAP team is happy to provide support, ensure you’re in compliance and help move your project forward in a timely manner.