Funding to Support Mental Health Services & Programs

Lawton, OK— Lawton Public Schools received word from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister that the district would be receiving funding from the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) through Project AWARE.

“Project AWARE strengthens school-based mental health training and support for Oklahoma students, educators, families, and community partners,” Hofmeister said.

Project AWARE, which stands for Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education, is one of the largest of grants provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – a grant totaling $8,992,615,00 over a period of five years.

“These grants give Oklahoma the opportunity to implement prevention and intervention strategies that include the best training in the nation on mental health prevention and intervention,” Hofmeister said.

Project AWARE, which has programs for Western, Eastern, and Southern Oklahoma, has set forth multiple goals to measure both the efficacy of the program itself along with district achievement.

“We will be added to the list as part of Project AWARE South,” Diana Landoll, director of grants at Lawton Public Schools said. “We will customize our program from a list of research-based professional developments, professional book studies, curriculum programs, students, and community mental health awareness events.”

For the purpose of student enrichment and support, Lawton Public Schools looks to supplement existing mental health services and training and education within the community by expanding the capacity of the partnership between state education agencies, state mental health agencies and local education agencies.

"The AWARE grant means so much to our district,” Kevin Hime, superintendent of Lawton Public Schools said. “We can provide additional support in regards to personnel, resources, tools and professional development opportunities. This will just enhance our services for mental and behavioral health. Social emotional learning and support is vital for a successful educational environment and we are thankful that we have the means to expand our capacity at Lawton Public Schools."

Grant funding for Lawton Public Schools will begin on Sept. 30, 2021. You can find more information on Project AWARE at https://sde.ok.gov/ok-aware.