Now Is The Time (NITT): Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education) is a 5 year federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA) that was awarded to the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) in September 2014. The purpose of Georgia Project AWARE is to increase awareness of mental health issues among school-aged youth; provide training in Youth Mental Health First Aid; and connect children, youth, and families who may have behavioral health issues with appropriate services. (SAMHSA, Center for Mental Health Services, 2015).
The GaDOE is partnering with Muscogee County, Newton County and Griffin-Spalding Schools to provide training in Youth Mental Health First Aid and to develop processes and procedures for connecting youth and families to community based mental health services. Georgia State University (Center for Leadership in Disability and the Center for Research on School Safety, School Climate and Classroom Management) is providing training and evaluation for Georgia Project AWARE.
Georgia Project AWARE Goals
Goal 1: Increase participation of the community (including families and youth) and mental health providers (including school-based and community-based providers) in efforts to identify the mental health resources available to meet the needs of the students and families in each LEA.
Goal 2: Increase awareness and identification of mental health and behavior concerns, and student and family access to mental health providers through the PBIS framework
in GPA schools.
Goal 3: Increase the percentage of Georgia youth and families receiving needed mental health services through collaboration between LEAs and community mental health providers.
Goal 4: Train educators, first responders, and parents to respond to mental health needs of youth.
Georgia’s Project AWARE LEAs: