Special to Iredell Free News

Iredell-Statesville Schools has been awarded a $17 million grant to fund school-based mental health services to students over the next five years.

The grant, titled Project RESOLVE, is funded through the U.S. Department of Education.

I-SS will use the federal funds to hire 22 school-based therapists with clinical licensure with an aim of improving school safety.

“We are excited to receive this funding to expand our school-based mental health program and continue our crisis services,” said Kelly Marcy, executive director of Student Services for I-SS. “We have created a comprehensive mental health plan for students over the past four years, and receiving this grant allows us to continue to focus on student needs.”

Chief of Strategic Planning and Student Services Boen Nutting said the district has been working for years to address the growing health needs of its 20,000-plus students.

“Anxiety and depression are a serious problem for young people today,” Nutting said. “I-SS is on the cutting edge of providing comprehensive clinical services to students in need. Having trained professionals on staff when a mental health crisis arises is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity to our students’ safety and well-being.”

Project RESOLVE funding will allow the district to recruit and retain experienced school-based providers to work within individual schools across Iredell County. The goal of this project includes lowering anxiety and violence in students and increasing emotional management.

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