Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,000,000)
The Western Kentucky Educational Cooperative (WKEC) work will include training behavior threat assessment (BTA) teams in trauma-informed care, evidenced-based strategies, policies, and procedures to conduct a BTA evaluation and provide appropriate services to all students in an equitable manner, free of discrimination and bias. It will implement an evidence-based behavioral program that identifies and addresses mental health crisis and needs and that provides evidenced-based strategies, modules, and training for students, parents, and educators while protecting student privacy rights, and it will involve mental health providers and parents throughout the process. It also includes a cyber/digital literacy program, a firearm awareness and safety program, and a technology mental health mobile app web-based solution to allow all students to anonymously ask for help if a student is in crisis, feeling marginalized, anxious, grief stricken, self-destructive, bullied, concerned about others, and/or suspicious of threats by connecting them during the school day to counselors, principals, mentors, or mental health providers. Training for SROs on responding to students with mental health issues and students with special disabilities is a part of this grant, including being a part of the West Kentucky SRO Association in affiliation with the Kentucky Center for Safe Schools. WKEC will work with six small rural school districts—Graves, Lyon, McLean, Trigg, and Union counties and Murray Independent—in western Kentucky that have high percentages of unemployment and poverty.