ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. — Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced on Friday an additional $5.5 million will go into every school in the county to help students with mental health. This will bring the total investment to $17 million.
The current health crisis has had a major impact on the mental health of young students and teens. More time at home and away from friends during the school day has led to a feeling of isolation for many. It's been a focal point during the push to reopen schools to more students, more days each week.
According to McMahon, every school will have the opportunity to have an on-site school-based clinic.
The county said it is looking at this as a triangle:
The North Syracuse Superintendent said, as students start coming back for full in-person education, school staff will learn more about the toll the past year has taken on them. Some districts in the county are even preparing for the transition back to school, which may cause anxiety for some students.
SEE MORE| More in-person schooling is coming to Syracuse and CNY, leaving some students anxious
McMahon's message to students is ask for help if you need it.
"It's cool to say look I am having a hard time and I need help. We need you to be leaders with your classmates and your peers," said McMahon.
The county's initiative will start immediately and will be fully integrated in schools by the time students return in the fall. Onondaga County will provide the funds to help establish the programs, then districts can bill insurance.