Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education) is a five-year pilot study designed to strengthen community and school-based supports for mental health and resiliency of students. With a federal grant from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has partnered with Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to design and implement this program, which deploys evidence-based mental health resources in fifteen schools along the Texas Gulf Coast.
The main objectives of Project AWARE are to: (1) increase awareness of mental health issues among school-aged youth; (2) provide training for school personnel and other adults who interact with school-aged youth to detect and respond to mental health issues; and (3) connect school-aged youth, who may have behavioral health issues (including serious emotional disturbance or serious mental illness), and their families to needed services. SAMHSA expects that this program will focus on partnerships and collaboration between state and local systems to promote the healthy development of school-aged youth.
The Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health within the Steve Hicks School of Social Work will provide support to TEA for project evaluation and quality improvement.