On April 23rd, the Bold Goals Coalition was pleased to welcome Dr. Eric Mackey, Alabama’s State Superintendent of Education, for a luncheon with almost all of our local school superintendents from the five-county Central Alabama region. Dr. Mackey shared remarks about the challenges surrounding mental health needs in our schools, and also joined in on small group discussions among our local superintendents to hear their input on the schools’ role in recognizing and addressing children’s mental health issues.
A highlight of the luncheon was a panel discussion about the school mental health pilot project, which is currently underway in Blount County, Homewood, Pell City and Tarrant. The project involves enhanced staff training, expanded student screenings and additional mental health services to meet students’ needs through a proactive approach. The mental health pilot is run through the Mental Health Priority Group of the Jefferson County Health Action Partnership under the leadership of Gus Heard-Hughes of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham with additional funding and staff support from United Way of Central Alabama, the Bold Goals Coalition, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama and the Anne B. LaRussa Foundation of Hope.
It’s inspiring when leaders come together across counties, municipalities and school system boundaries to share knowledge, address concerns as a group and open the door even wider to collaboration. To build a brighter future for our children, we have to work across the lines that separate us, focus on the issues that unite us and think big. We must dare to be bold!
The Bold Goals Coalition is 200 organizations solving big community problems by aligning partners, resources and agendas.