January 09, 2023

Rep. Takano, Superintendent Gomez Announce Nearly $3 Million for Riverside County Student Mental Health Services

RIVERSIDE, CA – Today, Representative Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Riverside County Superintendent of Schools Edwin Gomez, Ed.D. released the following statement announcing that nearly $3 million in Fiscal Year 2022 School-Based Mental Health Services grant funding was awarded to the Riverside County Office of Education to increase the number of credentialed mental-health providers available to serve Riverside County students. Rep. Takano voted to appropriate funding for this grant program in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and the Fiscal Year 2022 Omnibus Appropriations.  

“As a former educator, I know from my time in the classroom that access to culturally competent mental health services is instrumental to a student’s success,” said Rep. Mark Takano. “I’m thrilled to see this robust funding come to Riverside, equipping our schools with the resources needed to train and retain the mental health professionals that will serve our students.” 

“Mental health services are an educational imperative for student success, and this grant will expand access to school-based services for thousands of students from diverse and economically disadvantaged backgrounds,” said Riverside County Superintendent Dr. Edwin Gomez. “The community looks to our public school system to meet the educational needs of all students, and the increased need for mental health services at local schools and districts will benefit students in the classroom, families in the community, and our region as a whole.” 

The School-Based Mental Health Services (SBMH) grant program provides competitive grants to State educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), and consortia of LEAs to increase the number of credentialed mental health services providers providing school-based mental health services to students with demonstrated need. This funding supports awardees in increasing recruitment and retention-related incentives for school-based mental health services providers; promoting the respecialization and professional retraining of existing mental health services providers to qualify them for work in LEAs with demonstrated need; and increasing the diversity, and cultural and linguistic competency, of school-based mental health services providers, including competency in providing identity-safe services.