Barren County Schools receive mental health grant

GLASGOW Ky.- A grant worth $14,000 means more opportunities for staff and students at four Barren County schools when it comes to education on substance abuse, and mental health. Thanks to a grant from the Bright Coalition, Austin Tracy and Red Cross Elementary along with Barren County Middle and High Schools can now begin to use the funding for that purpose.

“What this funding will do is put more materials in the hands of our counselors, our mental health workers, and they’ll use this to get materials to support those students as they do counseling with them,” said, Heather Gardner, the grant writer for Barren County.

Services have already been laid out. One of those resources is Botvin Life Skills, which is an evidence-based substance abuse training program. Barren County Middle School can now also fund a program called Sources of Strength, which is a research based program to help students with a combination of other factors like mental health and healthy activities.

“The health, safety, and wellbeing of our students is always first and foremost. When we had this opportunity to come our way, we were so excited. It helps us in all those areas,” said Barren County Middle School Principal Stacey Thomas.

It’s no question that the schools are doing what they can to serve the students. The sources of strength program involve not only staff, but students too.

“Faculty trains on how they can help the students and students train on how they can help other students. They help to build that support system. It helps with suicide prevention, and drug and alcohol prevention,” Thomas said.

With this extra help from the Bright Coalition, Thomas said there will be more chances to string together more opportunities for the Trojan Nation.

“We’ll have lots of opportunities to come our way, and another thing that we like to do is try to be proactive, and to catch things on the front end,” Thomas said.

A program called Vape Educate will  also be funded through this grant.