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Federal grant supports Nazareth grad students pursuing careers as school mental health professionals

Federal grant supports Nazareth grad students pursuing careers as school mental health professionals

Nazareth has been awarded a $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support major scholarships for eight Nazareth graduate students interested in becoming mental health professionals in a high-need school district.  

The federal grant is one of the largest ever for Nazareth, which is one of only 67 institutions nationally to receive this funding. 

The grant – Increasing Access to Mental Health Professionals in High Needs School (AMPs up) will fund six social work and two art therapy graduate students each year for the next five years in collaboration with the Greece Central School District. 

The AMPS up grant will give Nazareth social work and art therapy students first-hand experiences working in a Greece school, supporting school-age students and families who are dealing with mental health issues.  

It is designed to increase diversity of the mental health workforce so that school professionals reflect the populations they serve.  

Special professional development on the mental health of children and youth who are Black, Indigenous or people of color will be provided for Nazareth students and Greece staff through a collaboration with Partners in Community Development Mental Health Project. 

“The pandemic increased the number of students struggling with anxiety and depression and highlighted the great need to provide mental health support to our students and families,” said Jim Garner, who supports two Greece schools and district initiatives as a social worker in the school district. “Thanks to the grant and Nazareth bringing more interns, there will be opportunities to support more students.” 

The opportunity begins in 2023 and continues for the next four years for full-time graduate students in these programs: 

All students receiving this grant funding scholarship will have a service obligation of working two years (paid) in a high-need school district after graduation.

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