Boy and bus

Federal grant to jump-start new school mental health internships

Publication Date: Nov 20, 2019

Editors' Note: This story ran in our November newsletter, published Nov. 1.


The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a Mental Health Services Professional Demonstration Grant to a band of school districts in Nebraska, facilitating a new internship training program in school mental health.


The grant, $500,000 per year for up to five years, was awarded to Educational Service Unit 2 (ESU 2), a state-defined region that encompasses school districts to the west and north of Omaha — in Burt, Cuming, Dodge, and Saunders counties. 


Mindy Chadwell, Ph.D., is a co-investigator on the new grant and school mental health faculty trainer for Mid-America MHTTC. Along with others from the Center and the University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute (MMI), Dr. Chadwell will assist in the development of the internship program, enabling the Center to advance its comprehensive school mental health training in the region.


“We are really looking forward to the multi-site collaboration, which will ultimately lead to increased mental health services to students in the rural region,” Dr. Chadwell stated.


The new internship program will recruit master’s-level students from Wayne State College, the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO), and the joint program of the UNO and MMI Psychology Departments. The students will have the opportunity to provide supervised, on-site mental health services within multi-tiered systems of support in ESU 2 school districts.


Through the grant, training in school mental health will also be provided for ESU 2 employees such as school psychologists, school counselors, teachers, administrators, and licensed mental health practitioners.