Santee School District Receives $2.7M Behavioral Health Grant
Posted on 10/20/2023

Santee School District Receives $2.7M Grant for Student Behavioral Health Services

The Santee School District has been chosen as one of four school districts in San Diego County to pilot the Student Behavioral Health Incentive Program (SBHIP) with the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). As a participant in this program, the district has been awarded a $2.7M grant to implement various behavioral and mental health services over a three year period spanning from January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2024.

“Providing seed money like this allows districts to create sustainable models for behavioral health services that might otherwise be cut as state budget allocations fluctuate,” said district Superintendent, Dr. Kristin Baranski. “Being selected to pilot this program will not only enhance our behavioral health services but it also provides the unique opportunity to share our model so that districts statewide can duplicate it.”

The purpose of the SBHIP funding, according to DHCS, is to:

  • Break down silos and improve coordination of child and adolescent student behavioral health services through increased communication with schools, school affiliated programs, managed care providers, counties, and mental health providers.
  • Increase the number of TK-12 students enrolled in Medi-Cal receiving behavioral health services through schools, school-affiliated providers, county behavioral health departments, and county offices of education.
  • Increase non-specialty services on or near school campuses.
  • Address health equity gaps, inequalities, and disparities in access to behavioral health services.

As a representative of the Board of Education, Member Barbara Ryan worked with district administration over the past year to pursue this grant. “Across the nation we have seen a rise in youth mental health concerns, and this grant will help us enhance access to vital behavioral health services for our students and families,” said Member Ryan. “Investing in mental health prevention and earlier identification will enhance learning and student wellness in our district and I look forward to seeing how far we can take these dollars.”

The district’s participation in this program will help create a sustainable model for behavioral and mental health services state-wide. To learn more about the SBHIP, click here.