NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – New Orleans public school students will be receiving additional mental health services beginning in the fall.

It’s made possible by $10 million in federal funding and a partnership with LCMC and Children’s Hospital.

“This partnership will provide trauma and grief services for students,” Orleans Parish School Board President Olin Parker said.

“It will provide additional school psychologists and licensed clinical social workers on top of what our schools are already providing. It’s going to provide care management for families, so all their appointments can be scheduled for the same day. They may receive a meal voucher; they may receive a transportation voucher.”

Through their ThriveKids program, Children’s Hospital will provide more than 30 mental health and medical experts who will work across all 76 public schools with specialized care offered at at-risk schools.

“Schools that have the highest concentrations of poverty will receive the most intensive services to make sure that they have everything they need to be successful,” Parker said.

All students are eligible to benefit from the program no matter a family’s financial situation.

“We do not want affordability or fear of going into debt to be a barrier,” NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Avis Williams said. “The services that we will offer will be free to families, and we will also make sure we’re providing support for Medicaid access.”

Children’s Hospital leaders say their number one goal is ensuring students thrive in school.

“I mean, we hear it from teachers all the time: We can’t do everything and be everything for every child, so we have to listen to that and take action, and that’s what we’re doing,” Children’s Hospital President & CEO Lou Fragoso said. “We’re going to do it together as a city, as a school system, as a hospital, and we’re going to make a difference.”

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