Congressman Stephen F. Lynch announced recently that the Brockton Mental Health Collaborative (BMHC) received $397,758 in federal funding from the Department of Education’s Grants to Integrate Schools and Mental Health Systems. The Grant will be used to implement a ground-breaking approach to expand and improve mental health services available to students in the Brockton Public Schools. The Brockton Mental Health Collaborative, comprised of the Brockton Public Schools, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (Brockton Multi-Service Center) and the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office (Juvenile Justice Authority), was one of just 17 grant recipients from across the country.

“This innovative program will greatly benefit the Brockton community, and I congratulate the Brockton Mental Health Collaborative for receiving such a competitive grant," said Congressman Stephen F. Lynch. “This grant will give a real boost to the BMHC as they work to address the needs of students and their families in Brockton.”

The Brockton Mental Health Collaborative is a project that integrates federal, state, county and local resources to offer a preventative, public health program aimed at early detection and appropriate treatment of mental health problems. The program is tailored to meet the unique needs of Brockton’s diverse population and aims to improve upon the academic performance of students with mental health challenges.

"This grant demonstrates another clear example of what is possible when institutions work collaboratively to achieve a common goal,” said James E. Harrington. "Mental illness is a serious community concern that affects so many lives, and now, we see and hear more and more children affected by it; this grant will go a long way towards addressing this issue and bring much needed mental health services to the children of our great City".

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to partner with community agencies to ensure that our children get the best services possible to address their mental health needs,” said Superintendent of Schools Basan Nembirkow.

"Hopefully through this grant we cannot only provide improved services for children who are suffering from mental health issues, but also better recognize and intervene with children whose symptoms are caused by environmental factors like abuse and neglect," said Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz. "Dealing with the root causes of these behaviors, when possible, is essential to giving these kids a chance."

"It is very gratifying that the U.S. Department of Education has recognized the strong collaborations that the Department of Mental Health (DMH) and the Brockton Multi-Service Center share with its community partners," said DMH Commissioner Barbara A. Leadholm, M.S., M.B.A. "We are all committed to identifying early on the mental health needs of school children and ensuring that these needs are met."