Net Exchange Response

Title: Seeking support to focus on mental health aspects of emergency management in schools

Date Posted: 8/24/2009

Question: “Do you know of any grants and/or foundations that offer funding for the mental health aspects of emergency management in schools (e.g. parent/student reunification, disaster recovery), particularly around research and developing educational materials?”

Response: There are two grant programs through the U. S. Department of Education Safe and Drug Free Schools Office that you might check out:

  1. Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (84.184E) – “This grant program supports efforts by LEAs to create, strengthen, and improve emergency management plans at the district and school-building levels, including training school personnel on emergency management procedures; communicating with parents about emergency plans and procedures; and coordinating with local law enforcement, public safety or emergency management, public health, and mental health agencies and local government.

    Grant funds may be used for the following activities: reviewing and revising emergency management plans, training school staff, conducting building and facilities audits, communicating emergency response policies to parents and guardians, implementing the National Incident Management System (NIMS), developing an infectious disease plan, developing or revising food defense plans, purchasing school safety equipment (to a limited extent), conducting drills and tabletop simulation exercises; and preparing and distributing copies of emergency management plans.”

  2. School Emergency Response to Violence Project – “This program funds short-term and long-term education-related services for LEAs to help them recover from aviolent or traumatic event in which the learning environment has been disrupted. Immediate services assistance covers up to 60 days from the date of the incident. Extended services assistance covers up to one year from the incident.

    LEAs may apply for two types of assistance under Project SERV: Immediate Services grants and Extended Services grants. LEAs are not required to apply for, or have received, an Immediate Services Grant to be eligible for funding under Extended Services. LEAs that wish to apply for both Immediate Services and Extended Services Grants must submit a separate application for each.

    Immediate Services Grants: Immediate Services grants are intended to provide short-term support shortly after a traumatic event. Immediate Services grants are intended to provide a limited amount of funds to restore the learning environment in a timely fashion. The application process is not intended to be burdensome....

    Extended Services Grants: Extended Services grants are intended to address the long-term recovery efforts that may be needed following a traumatic event . Extended Services grants may provide up to $250,000 for up to 18 months to help maintain safety and security in an affected school and to help students, teachers, school staff and family members recover from the event...."

    Whether or not a school has special funding, obviously all facets of school operation are affected when crisis planning is not appropriately addressed. The importance of doing so probably will be illustrated in the next month or so as schools, communities, students,and families experience the impact of flu cases. Schools who have planned how to work with community health supports, ways to connect with families to arrange child care for ill students, etc. will avoid the need for crisis response and will promote good coping all around.

    For a broad range of relevant resources, go to our Online Clearinghouse Quick Find on
    Crisis Prevention and Response


“In response to the school crisis mental health resource question, I highly recommend School Crisis Response Teams: Lessening the Aftermath Training Manual (Schoenfeldt & Associates, 1993) and Picking up the Pieces: Responding to School Crisis (Schoenfeldt & Associates, 1999).

Both of those resources have camera ready materials and guidelines for crisis and definitely address mental health concerns.

See the website related to this work at Also see “School-Based Suicide Prevention Program Planning: Useful & Efficacious Guidelines” 2008, which addresses mental health issues and protocols in all types of mental crisis situations, not just suicide. It has an appendix of many reproducible forms, sample letters, meeting agendas, etc.

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UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools
Dept. of Psychology, P.O.Box 951563, Los Angeles, CA 90095.
tel: (310)825-3634
email: Linda Taylor ~ web: