Oakland County invests in mental health resources for students

Russ McNamara

Oakland County is committing tens of millions of dollars to address mental health issues and learning loss caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

So far, officials have designated $47 million to help the county’s 175,000 students.

Pontiac School District Superintendent Kelley Williams says COVID-19 has made it difficult to meet student needs.

“We have worked diligently to provide resources and opportunities to help our students continue to deal with the ramifications of the pandemic. They were literally learning virtually for two years.

The county has also allocated $10 million for mental health professionals — but a nationwide shortage of clinicians could hamper that effort.

High school student Fabiola Molina from Pontiac says just knowing help is available is a relief for her and her classmates.

“Getting this help means a lot, not just to me but to those around me, my classmates. I know it’s been a tough few years and we’ve been successful so far.

County Executive Dave Coulter said there was now record funding coming from the state, but there were still areas to iron out.

“I applaud the governor, she’s made historic investments in public education, but part of that has to include more mental health help, more counselors, more nurses and health professionals, frankly .”

The county also plans to invest $18 million in social safety net programs to address child care issues and provide food and housing assistance.

Photo credit: Russ McNamara/WDET.

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  • Russ McNamara is host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, bringing local news to the station’s loyal listeners. He has been an avid listener to WDET since moving to Metro Detroit in 2002.

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