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Behavioral Health

Today, North Dakota’s Health and Human Services (HHS) agency’s Behavioral Health Division announced a third round of grant funding for eligible North Dakota public, private and tribal elementary and secondary schools to enhance their behavioral health services and supports for students with behavioral health needs.  

To qualify for the grant funding opportunity, a school district must submit a detailed plan describing how it collaborates with other regional school districts to address student behavioral health needs and its strategy to develop student behavioral health interventions for the 2022-2023 school year.  

In addition, a school district must have billed North Dakota Medicaid for reimbursement for providing behavioral health services to students last school year. The amount a school district can apply for is based on the amount they billed North Dakota Medicaid in the 2021-2022 school year.  

An application is online at www.hhs.nd.gov/education/grant-funding. Schools should email completed applications to kastastny@nd.gov. The deadline to apply is May 1, 2023. 

This behavioral health school grant funding is part of an effort to enhance the state’s behavioral health system. It supports recommendations included in a North Dakota Behavioral Health Study to invest in prevention and early intervention, expand community-based services and enhance and streamline the system of care for children and youth. 

North Dakota lawmakers first provided funding for the behavioral health school grants during the 2019 legislative session. Last legislative session, they appropriated $3 million for the grants. Twenty school districts received grant funding during the past two school years to address student behavioral health needs.  

Other behavioral health resources for schools  

The division is also providing schools with other types of support. All private, public and tribal school administrators, teachers and support staff can access Kognito, a free online interactive program that helps enhance their knowledge of recognizing signs of behavioral health concerns among students. Users can also learn effective conversation strategies and find out how to refer to appropriate resources if necessary.  

School professionals can complete the interactive evidence-based modules at their own pace and receive feedback in real-time. To learn more, visit www.hhs.nd.gov/education/kognito.  

In addition, the division offers many resources at no cost to schools and community members to support the behavioral health of children and families through the Parents Lead program at www.parentslead.org

The Behavioral Health Division is responsible for reviewing and identifying service needs and activities in the state's behavioral health system to ensure health and safety, access to services and quality services. It also establishes quality assurance standards for the licensure of substance use disorder program services and facilities and provides policy leadership in partnership with public and private entities. For more information, visit www.hhs.nd.gov/behavioral-health.

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