The Montgomery County Intermediate Unit (MCIU) has been awarded the four-year Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education) grant by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This highly competitive grant has only been awarded by SAMHSA to approximately 20 entities across the United States. 

Project AWARE is a nationwide grant created to develop a sustainable infrastructure for school-based mental health programs and services. The MCIU, one of 29 intermediate units across the Commonwealth, provides programs and services to public school districts, career and technical schools, nonpublic schools and other organizations throughout Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Through its direct service to students, especially those most at risk, the MCIU has been able to identify ways to assist students and their families to navigate mental health supports and services. 

“This grant award is a major recognition for the MCIU and reflects all the hard work and accomplishments of our MCIU employees in supporting students and families across the region,” stated MCIU Executive Director Regina Speaker. “We appreciate the support of Senator Robert Casey and Congresswoman Madeleine Dean and many other partners, including the PDE, for this grant project.” 

The MCIU’s grant project will (a) expand suicide awareness training opportunities for students(K-12), (b) implement a universal mental health screener to be utilized by school district or nonpublic school staff members, and (c) create an electronic data system to connect school mental health practitioners (e.g. psychologists, social workers and counselors) with community-based mental health providers that have immediate availability to support students in all levels of care (outpatient therapy to inpatient psychiatric care). The MCIU is partnering with two other intermediate units on this project- Luzerne and Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Units- to proactively address students’ mental health needs. MCIU will work closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Education and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and other entities to meet these goals. 

We are currently seeking qualified applicants to support the Project AWARE program.  To learn more about available positions, please visit: www.mciu.org/jobs