Four Maryland Universities to Receive $2.5 M to Train, Hire Mental Health Support

Four Maryland universities will receive more than $2.5 million in federal grants to train and hire new mental health service personnel to help address student mental health.

Under the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the U.S. Department of Education will distribute nearly $100 million to 36 states to fund the training and hiring of mental health professionals across the country in order to address student mental health needs. Maryland will receive a little more than $2.5 million of the $100 million. Four of the state’s institutions for higher education will receive the federal funds for a total of $2,570,976:

  • The University of Maryland Baltimore will receive $825,567,
  • Johns Hopkins University will receive $693,004,
  • Bowie State University will receive $674,464, and
  • Loyola University Maryland will receive $377,941.

Maryland Matters reported on the awards:

Paired with other federal grants and other funding sources, the federal program is expected to help Maryland universities train and place more than 500 diverse, certified mental health providers in schools with the most need, according to the press release.

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) was passed in 2022 to expand “vital mental health services and provides additional support for States and districts to design and enhance initiatives that will promote safer, more inclusive, and positive school environments for all students, educators, and school staff.” According to the Department of Education:

The BSCA includes $1 billion through Title IV, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for SEAs to competitively award subgrants to high-need LEAs to establish safer and healthier learning environments, and to prevent and respond to acts of bullying, violence, and hate that impact our school communities at individual and systemic levels, among other programs and activities. The Department has designated this component of the BSCA the Stronger Connections Grant Program.

The BSCA is intended to be a five-year program, in large part in response to changes in student mental and behavioral health needs during and following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maryland counties tackle youth mental health

Counties across Maryland have implemented new and innovative programs to tackle mental health challenges facing the state’s youth. Recent innovations include:

    • With a disturbing share of residents seeking mental health services needing to go out-of-county to receive care, Prince George’s County has taken action to improve local services, supporting a new health care pavilion in Lanham.

Useful links and resources

Bipartisan Safer Communities Act – Stronger Connections Grant Program:

Bipartisan Safer Communities Act – School-Based Mental Health Services Grant:

Bipartisan Safer Communities Act  – Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration Grant

Bipartisan Safer Communities Act – Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center Supplemental Grants: