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Kentucky CARES campaign seeks to improve students' mental health and well-being

Posted at 5:49 PM, Dec 03, 2019

(LEX 18) — The Kentucky Department of Education has partnered with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services to launch the Kentucky CARES campaign.

CARES stands for "Communities Acting to Reach Engage and Support."

The State announced the launch at the Kentucky Department of Education in Frankfort on Tuesday. The grassroots campaign seeks to improve students' mental health.

Through the program's website, students, parents and educators have access to resources on topics like suicide prevention and bullying.

“Whether it’s a student ensuring that no child eats alone, parents ensuring that phones and TVs are off at the dinner table or educators implementing simple screening measures to assess students most at risk, the Kentucky CARES website is a good starting point to identify these programs,” Secretary of Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Adam Meier, said.

The State also announced that CHFS received final approval for a Medicaid state plan amendment that will increase health services in schools.

"The Medicaid state plan amendment will allow school districts to seek additional federal fun reimbursement to expand access to qualifying physical and mental health services for students enrolled in Medicaid," CHFS Deputy Secretary, Kristi Putnam, said.

Some services covered under the new plan include physical and behavioral health screenings, immunizations, dental care, speech therapy supports and mental health counseling.