New Albany News

ADAMH funding

District program to promote 'emotional well-being'


New Albany-Plain Local is one of 10 Franklin County school districts that will receive funding from the Franklin County Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board as soon as the 2014-15 school year.

"This year we reached out to a lot of our suburban school districts and discussed -- or really tried to discover -- what their personal needs are in relationship to mental health and challenges children may face as part of the behavioral process," said David Royer, chief executive officer of the ADAMH board.

Royer said research has shown that social conditions can affect students' academic success.

"We recognize that most students who benefit from emotional well-being have greater academic and social success," he said.

Instead of designing a program for schools to use countywide, Royer said, ADAMH asked school partners to work with one of the board's treatment and prevention centers and design a program that fits the students in each district.

New Albany-Plain Local Superintendent April Domine said the district would work with Concord Counseling Services of Westerville to design a program for kindergarten to 12th grade that would begin this fall.

Aimee Shadwick, a spokeswoman for the ADAMH board, said ADAMH would provide $99,167 in 2014.

Royer said those funds would allow Concord Counseling Services to hire two employees to implement the plan in New Albany.

He said one would focus on kindergarten to sixth grade and the other would work in the seventh to 12th grades.

Royer said the funds would increase to $170,000 in 2015 to provide continued support of the program.

Shadwick said ADAMH funds typically are considered an investment in the programs, which will be measured and evaluated regularly.

"Typically, our funding is an ongoing support that continues as long as the ongoing performance and things are being met for the program," she said.

Programs being designed in the other participating school districts also will receive funds to support implementation, Shadwick said.

The other participating school districts are: Canal Winchester; Dublin; Gahanna-Jefferson; Reynoldsburg; South-Western; Upper Arlington; Westerville; Whitehall; and Worthington.