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Mental health services for California students get a boost

Schools across California say they just received a huge shot in the arm.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation that allows schools to receive Medicaid reimbursements for the mental health services they provide students. Schools said there are currently many barriers in place that discourage them from applying for the reimbursement.

In San Jose’s Franklin-McKinley School District, the mental health of its students is one of the top priorities and the superintendent said the news out of Sacramento could not have come at a better time.

The district is currently using one-time COVID funds to pay for one counselor at every campus. But that money disappears at the end of the school year. Franklin-McKinley School District Superintendent Juan Cruz said many of his students need all the help they can get.

“There are some students that exhibit some concerns that need to be addressed immediately that can’t just be referred to an agency or their service provider,” Cruz said. “That’s why it’s so critical for me to have those services on campus every day.”

Cruz is relieved to hear about schools now being better equipped to receive federal reimbursement for the mental health services they provide to students who qualify for Medi-Cal, which is most of the children attending the district.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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