Manistee Area Public Schools Receives Behavioral Health Grants

A northern Michigan school district just received some major grant funding to help students who need mental health services.

Manistee Area Public Schools is getting nearly $800,000 from the state to bring four behavioral health professionals to the district.

They will work directly with students and also perform outreach to parents.

The positions include a social worker, a therapist to focus on mental and behavioral health, a community health worker to perform outreach to parents and a position that will conduct a survey related to trauma.

“It’s going to bring some well needed supports to the district. We know that we have kids that are struggling with their mental experiences that manifest into their behavior and it’s a barrier for their learning and if they’re not addressed at a young age they can carry those into further grades,” said Superintendent Ronald Stoneman.

It’s also welcome news for parents with students in the district.

“There’s a lot of parents out there that don’t know who to contact and I think this can be a good resource for them to have somebody to go talk to if they need to. And as a parent myself I didn’t realize a lot of these things were available so to have somebody at the school who can actually see the needs of the student and then follow up later on I think is a great addition,” said parent Jason Sullivan.

The district hopes having these extra resources on hand will help students in need.

“We really hope to help kids and their families have an understanding of mental health, and that we have licensed practitioners to help those students with those challenges and that they’re able to deal better in school and better in life,” said Stoneman.