In response to the increasing demand for mental health services among young people, Luminis Health has been awarded a $1.6 million grant from the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission.

The nonprofit regional health system will collaborate with Prince George’s County Public Schools to implement comprehensive support services at six high schools, including Bowie High School and the Chesapeake Math & IT Academy North High School, in Laurel.

As part of the grant, Luminis Health will hire and deploy mental health providers directly to the schools, collaborating with school counselors to offer vital support to students and parents. These embedded providers will rotate through the schools, providing education and training to students, parents and teachers, ensuring access to evidence-based screening tools for identifying individual needs and strengths on an ongoing basis.

“Our mental health matters, and today’s teenagers are grappling with a mental health crisis of unprecedented proportions,” said Dr. Aliya Jones, executive medical director of Behavioral Health at Luminis Health. “By partnering with school counselors, teachers, parents and students, we can build strong bonds and connect with teenagers, fostering an environment of support for their mental health well-being and facilitating their growth.”

In addition to placing mental health providers with expertise in adolescents within the schools, Luminis Health plans to implement a multifaceted approach to support students’ mental well-being. This includes training teachers to recognize warning signs of mental health issues and equipping them with the tools to provide appropriate support and referrals.

Furthermore, students themselves will receive training on how to identify signs of distress in their classmates and provide effective peer support. Luminis Health has forged a strategic partnership with Prince George’s County Public Schools to ensure equitable access to care where it’s needed most; six high schools have been identified as priority locations for this initiative:
● Bowie High School, Bowie
● Chesapeake Math & IT Academy North High School, Laurel
● Parkdale High School, Riverdale Park
● DuVal High School, Lanham
● Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Greenbelt
● Northwestern High School, Hyattsville

During the next few months, Luminis Health will recruit team members to support the services funded by the grant, including clinicians, therapists, addiction counselors, nurse practitioners and registered nurses. The health system will begin working directly with school personnel in June, with plans to roll out the comprehensive services for students in the upcoming school year.