GSCS Implements New Mental Health Program – Project AWARE

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February 3, 2015

GSCS Implements New Mental Health Program – Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education)


The Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS), along with Newton and Muscogee County School Districts, received a five-year grant from the Georgia Department of Education for the implementation of Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education). Project AWARE is a grant program developed and designed to make schools and community safer by increasing mental health awareness and access to resources in our community.


The GSCS Project AWARE team consists of co-coordinators, Greg DeLuzio and Debbie Crisp, mental health clinician Kelly Petaccio and Nicole Jones, administrative assistant. This team will conduct yearly Youth Mental Health First Aid trainings for school employees and adults in the community. After training, Youth Mental Health First Aiders will be equipped to assess needs of students, respond to mental health emergencies and offer support to students in emotional distress.


“Our goal is to provide trainings and resources to aid in early detection and intervention of mental health issues resulting in safe schools for our students, “stated Sheila Mincey, Director of Special Education, Assessment, Data and Program Evaluation and supervisor of the grant program.


In addition, the Project AWARE team is collaborating with agencies and mental health providers in our community to promote integration among families, youth serving agencies and initiatives that connect to schools.


Dr. Curtis Jones, Jr., school superintendent, stated,” Our school system is extremely pleased to be a Project AWARE grant recipient. This program will provide knowledge and resources that will benefit our staff, students, families and community.”


Stakeholders are invited to attend a Project AWARE grant management meeting at the Griffin Welcome Center on February 26, from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information or to register please contact Debbie Crisp at 770-229-3700 ext. 417 or Nicole Jones at 770-229-3700 ext. 327.


Project AWARE GSCS Website