As mental health concerns have grown in San Mateo County during the Pandemic, the San Mateo County Office of Education, in partnership with San Mateo County’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS), began working closely with school districts to build their capacity to provide mental health supports for students. In 2020, the County Office and BHRS received a $6.0 million grant from the State to support this work and help schools address student stress and trauma. Through this grant, SMCOE and BHRS supported 12 San Mateo County school districts in implementing a new social-emotional curriculum and conducting staff resiliency training. The two organizations also expanded mental health care coordination services to all 23 San Mateo County school districts and County Office of Education student programs. This is great and much needed news!
I attended the California Department of Education's Equity Summit on Friday, January 29, 2021, and in the closing Keynote, Dr. Tyrone Howard highlighted mental health as a key component of our equity work, encouraging putting "Maslow before Bloom." This statement also seems especially important and impactful as we navigate this pandemic, now for almost one year, and we know that our students and their adults are struggling in so many ways.