North Knox receives grant funding to improve mental health options for students

North Knox received 286,000 in grant funding to increase their mental health program.

Posted: Feb. 20, 2019 6:57 PM

KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Dawn Elkins has worked at North Knox high school for almost twenty years. As a guidance counselor, she has seen the problems students are facing.

Elkins explains, "Used to kids didn't talk about what was going on because they were perceived as crazy or they didn't want to admit that they were worried about something or things were bugging them."

Elkins says that perception is slowly changing.

Elkins says, "I feel that now it's coming to light and that's a good thing. So we can help get the kids the help they need."

For years North Knox has shared counselors and social workers between their three schools. That will soon change thanks to $286,000 of grant funding.

Superintendent Darrel Bobe explains, "It's a big day for us here at North Knox. Because what I think we're doing is we're kind of looking at some things with regards to what our kids really really need now."

North Knox worked with Children and Family Services to secure those funds. 

Money will provide an additional social worker to help cover all three schools. It will also provide training and materials for students.

Mollie Ewing Hutchinson with Children and Family Services explains, "Mental wellness promotion on campus forces a student to develop an identity within the school community so that they want to do well for their school system. That they feel supported by their school system."

Elkins says for a small school like North Knox the funding is a big deal.

Elkins says, "To be quite honest we do what we can on a shoestring budget. We don't complain. Because school funding is just not there. So we have provided our kids with what we have as best as we can. So to be able to offer them more is just like a little cherry on top."

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