Montgomery Co. schools seek more funding for mental health counseling amid pandemic

A stock photo of a Montgomery County Public Schools bus. Dec. 23, 2015. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

Maryland’s Montgomery County public school system is looking into additional ways it can help students with mental health counseling as the coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed their lives.

Recognizing what they said is an increasing need for additional and more intensive mental health support for students, Montgomery County Public School board members are asking the county government to help.

School board members are requesting $250,000 for a pilot program to contract with outside services to provide mental health care for families in the county who can’t afford it.

The school system estimated that the per student cost of therapy services is between $750 and $1,100, meaning the $250,000 would provide about 270 students with mental health counseling.

The Montgomery County Board of Education unanimously approved a motion on Monday, June 29, to bring the request to the county.

A letter from MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith stated that the coronavirus pandemic has led to more than 164,000 Montgomery County public school students being isolated in their homes and highlights what he said is a likely increase in need for mental health services.

A Montgomery County Council committee is expected to review the request at the end of July.

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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