Baltimore Community Foundations hopes to improve mental health in schools

Posted at 6:17 PM, Mar 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-12 18:17:21-04

BALTIMORE — Fixing Baltimore through mental health services for children is a top priority for the Baltimore Community Foundation.

The organization is stretching its arms to schools throughout the city and county, utilizing its resources, investing in students mental health.

"Mental health is something that should be available to all students. This idea of surviving... our students have fought to survive," says Crystal Harden, Vice President of Community Impact at BCF.

Harden has more than two decades of experience in the school system. Now, she works with BCF, a non-profit partnering with other non-profits throughout Baltimore to help students receive a high-quality education.

"We directly go into schools to try to support their initiatives and find non-profit's that want to help schools connect their student learning outcomes to social emotional health," says Harden.

Students are still recovering from the mental effects COVID had on them and their emotional well-being according to Harden.

"If we do not address the mental health crisis, and if we do not directly put our investments around mental health, I think we'll continue to see students who are disengaged," says Harden.

One program BCF kick-started is at Frederick Douglass high school, providing students with on site mental health specialists during their lunch period.

"They don't have to wait to go before school. If they have jobs, because these are older students in high school, they don't have to choose whether to go to work or... get this mental health support," says Harden.

This initiative spreads all the way across to city neighbors where BCF launched a climate change program, taking a look at the mental state of teachers.

"We are focusing specifically on the teacher satisfaction and what they need in order to feel supported and how that then impacts student achievement," says Harden.

BCF says it looking to provide additional grant money to more non-profits to help schools thrive and keep students engaged.

You can visit their website hereto learn more about their grants.