Tahoe-Truckee school district receives $50k grant for mental health services

Submitted to the Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. – In a move that addresses the growing need for student mental health services, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District is launching a pilot program that will extend the use of social workers in schools, backed by financial support from Excellence in Education and the Placer County Mental Health Service Act. 

TTUSD already provides mental health resources in the form of student services and wellness programming with programs including social-emotional, mental, and physical health services for all students; parent and community partnerships; social-emotional training for teachers; school counselors and psychologists at each school site; coordinated care teams; Wellness Centers at the high schools and middle schools; student support groups; suicide prevention education and Hope Squads and school-based social workers and therapists.  

The programs have been successful for roughly one in five kids (3-17 years) who reported a mental, emotional, or behavioral health disorder before 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic increased the number of students experiencing social, emotional, and behavioral problems that interfere with school performance, often compounded by complex family issues. TTUSD saw the need to beef up its mental wellness programming. 

During the 2021-22 school year, TTUSD piloted on-site school social workers to help address student mental health themes like self-regulation, anxiety, and depression. Since the program launched in October 2021, school social workers have provided comprehensive support to 75 students and their families by connecting them to various school and mental health services. Social workers provide case management for students with complex family issues to help them navigate services, offer short-term counseling, conduct risk assessments, and assist school administrators and counselors in developing student behavior management plans.   

TTUSD is expanding the school social worker program for the next school year, providing part-time social workers at Alder Creek Middle School, Truckee High School, North Tahoe School, North Tahoe High School, and lake- and Truckee-side elementary schools. 

As a catalyst to launch the expansion program and give it traction, Excellence in Education has provided the district with a $50,000 grant. Additionally, Placer County MHSA has committed to funding a portion of the social worker program for the next school year. TTUSD is covering the remaining social worker costs and securing sustainable funding, partly through ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) and potential SBHIP (Student Behavioral Health Incentive Program) funds.

Placer County Office of Education selected TTUSD as a pilot program for the California Student Behavioral Health Incentive Program, allowing the opportunity to align with county programming to build a sustainable infrastructure and tap into long-term state funding.

To support the Excellence in Education Foundation and become a Friend of Education donate online at or call 530-550-7984. 

Source: Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District

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