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State Superintendent urges schools to use CARES Act dollars for student's mental health

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond launches "Coalition for School Well-being" to promote mental health curriculum in schools.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — State Superintendent Tony Thurmond says social isolation and the effects of COVID-19 have upended education in the California school system and is urging schools to use money allocated to them to invest in their student's mental health. 

Thurmond said school districts' have $2 billion in CARES Act money to invest in the mental health and well-being of students and teachers.

He said the pandemic has exacerbated the growing rate of depression and suicide in young people and schools now more than ever need to train their teachers on social and emotional support and hire staff to help their teachers as well. 

This why the state superintendent created the "Coalition for School Well-being" -- teaming up with celebrities like filmmaker Ava Duvernay to bring awareness to the need for mental health curriculum and to notify schools of the free social-emotional support that is already available to them.

Thurmond said he is working to expanding Medi-Cal programs so that schools across the state can have more school-based mental health programs.

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