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Full Service Schools awards $5.5 million in mental health services grants

May 26, 2022

Administered by United Way, the initiative provides free mental health care to all Duval County public school students


Full Service Schools turns students life around. Pictured: Deonte Koerner

Jacksonville, Fla. (May 26, 2022) – United Way of Northeast Florida, in partnership with the Kids Hope Alliance and Duval County Public Schools, announced today the recipients of $5.5 million in grants to provide mental health care access for all public school students in Duval County through the Full Service Schools initiative. 

These Full Service Schools grantees will deliver mental health counseling and other support services to students and their families in elementary, middle and high schools in Duval County Public Schools for the 2022-2023 academic year. Recent events highlight this critical need for our community, students and their families. 

“Mental health care is critical to addressing non-academic barriers to success, and thousands of students and families need help accessing this important resource,” said Keto Porter, director of Full Service Schools, which is administered by United Way. “We are thrilled with the selected providers, who we know will provide the right expertise and dedication to ensure this vital service continues to be delivered at the highest quality.” 

The grantees provide free mental health services to Duval County Public Schools students and their families through eight Full Service Schools sites or an alternate location in the community determined by the counselor and family. 

The following organizations are recipients of the grants for the upcoming academic year, with the Full Service Schools resource center(s) where they will operate listed in parentheses. 

  • Jewish Family & Community Services (Arlington Family Resource Center) 
  • Child Guidance Center (Beaches Family Resource Center and Sandalwood Family Resource Center) 
  • Children’s Home Society (Englewood Family Resource Center and Ribault Family Resource Center) 
  • Daniel (Greater Springfield Family Resource Center and Historic James Weldon Johnson Family Resource Center) 
  • Family Foundations of Northeast Florida (Westside Family Resource Center) 

The selected providers were identified using a request for proposal (RFP) process, which was open to any governmental entities, for-profit and nonprofit organizations who could provide mental-health services for at least one full school year. Proposals were accepted March 7 to March 31, followed by a review period, which ended in April.  

“The Kids Hope Alliance has been a longstanding funding partner of the Full Service Schools initiative,” said Kids Hope Alliance CEO Mike Weinstein. “This past year, KHA contracted with United Way to serve as the managing entity of its school-based behavioral and mental health counseling funds. We are incredibly proud of the work done by United Way to identify those agencies that will ensure students and families have access to quality mental health counseling. Our significant investment in mental health services will allow for stronger and safer communities.”    

In addition to KHA, funding for Full Service Schools is provided by Duval County Public Schools, the Lucy Gooding Charitable Foundation Trust and United Way. 

 “Access to therapeutic services is critical to assisting Duval County Public Schools in addressing the holistic needs of our students,” said Katrina Taylor, director of school behavioral health at Duval County Public Schools. “We know students are more successful in the classroom when they are mentally and emotionally well. Through Full Service Schools, expert partner providers will be lending their support by strengthening our students and schools.”   

To access these mental health services, families are encouraged to call the United Way 211 information and referral hotline to find their nearest Full Service Schools site. Callers can dial 2-1-1 or 904-632-0600 on a cell phone or landline. Texting is also available by texting “Hello” to 211904. Additionally, students and parents can contact their school’s guidance office to learn more about the mental health services provided through Full Service Schools. 

“The City of Jacksonville and The Kids Hope Alliance are proud to partner with Duval County Public Schools and United Way to provide comprehensive therapeutic, health and social services to vulnerable members of our community,” said Mayor Lenny Curry. “This collaboration between public and nonprofit sectors has created a more efficient and effective tool to meet the needs of at-hope youth in our community.”