Dane County to give schools $1.5M to meet student mental health needs

MADISON, Wis. — Dane County is giving local schools more resources to address students’ mental health needs.

The country will give schools $1.5 million to provide mental health or substance use treatment services in school buildings. County Executive Joe Parisi announced the move Tuesday.

“Behavioral health needs continue to be one of the most pervasive challenges facing families,” Parisi said. “It’s important for the county, schools, and families to come together to explore ways that we can do more, together.”

Data from the 2021 Dane County Youth Assessment showed that rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation are on the rise amongst local middle and high school children. Local students are also getting less sleep on school nights and are not exercising as frequently.

The county will hear proposals from local districts about how the $1.5 million will be spent. The goal is to have the new staff and services in place before the new school year kicks off in the fall.