Lauderdale County Schools will receive over $2.2 million in federal funding from the Tennessee Department of Education due to a SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) five year grant designed to plan and implement the AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education) initiative. Lauderdale County AWARE will partner with parents, youth, and community stakeholders, to design and implement a multi-tiered, interconnected systems framework (ISF) that guides delivery of universal prevention, targeted intervention, and intensive school-based mental health services. A five year plan will be developed to implement the following prevention and intervention strategies:

1) Develop mental health awareness and outreach campaigns as well as youth and family engagement strategies

2) Implement evidence-based violence prevention programs

3) Refine school discipline policies to reduce loss of instructional time and removals from school due to suspension and expulsion

4) Establish early identification and referral processes to connect youth to appropriate services

5) Place mental health clinicians in schools to deliver effective, targeted and intensive interventions and referrals

Lauderdale County AWARE will address current issues by:

  1. Increasing student access to mental health services

  2. Promoting resilience and positive behavior functioning among school-age youth to keep youth in school and out of the juvenile justice system

  3. Providing Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training to youth-serving adults

For additional information contact Lindsey Smith, Lauderdale County Schools AWARE Director,

Lauderdale County Board of Education at  731-221-3056 or lindseysmith@lced.net