High School Mental Health Wellness Centers Designed to be Welcoming Space

The Mental Health and Positive Youth Development Centers that eventually will be located in every high school will serve a slightly different purpose than the existing high school wellness centers and are part of a plan designed to support all students in a welcoming space.

This summer, the interim centers will be created from existing spaces in the schools and relocatable classrooms with permanent facilities expected to be ready over a five-year period. Montgomery County Public Schools hired a contractor this week to prepare the interim physical spaces that have been set aside in some of the high schools.

The interim wellness and related services that will become available this coming school year at all Montgomery County Public high schools are not the same as the existing high school Wellness Center services, but rather are an interim phase of expanded supports until the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and MCPS work on a long-range plan for full high school Wellness Center implementation at all high schools, according to a DHHS spokesperson.

Funding from Montgomery County will enable all high schools to have permanent centers in about five years, with the completion of about four centers per year.

The centers will not offer medical health care beyond traditional school health services, according to DHHS. That department expects to contract with partner agencies to operate the new centers.

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