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Blunt Rochester, Carper highlight federal funding for new mental health program at Nemours

Ethan Grandin
Delaware Public Media

Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester and Sen. Tom Carper visited Nemours Children's Health Monday to tout federal funding headed there to address kids’ mental health needs.

Nemours’ Innovative Mental Health Pathways for Adolescent and Child Therapists or IMPACT Program is receiving $1.5 million.

The program launched last September. It provides master’s-level trained social workers and counselors with specialized training and supervision to obtain clinical licensure focused on the mental health needs of youth.

“We need people that can actually support students and therefore give them a better chance at education,” said Blunt Rochester “We know that when young people are experiencing mental health challenges, they might be more likely to drop out.”

Blunt Rochester says the goal of the program is to create a pipeline to better assist communities and the educational system with mental health - and this funding will help the program ramp up and deliver needed assistance faster.

President of Delaware Valley Nemours Children's Health Mark R. Marcantano says that the federal funding will go a long way toward helping accomplish that goal.

“These dollars will certainly help in terms of early intervention programs that will serve as a springboard for all the types of therapies we need,” said Marcantano “After all that is our vision, to ultimately create the healthiest generations of children and to move well beyond medicine.”

Marcantano also emphasized that two critical areas were helped through the funding that was secured.

"One is mental health therapists who will help provide important therapies and a number of locations hopefully out closest to where our patients and families live,” Marcantano said. “Also nurse practitioners that will be part of our primary care practices and will provide all those behavioral mental health services that are needed.”

Carper says it makes sense to invest in the experience the staff at Nemours brings to mental healthcare.

“My whole life, one of the guiding principles for me is to find out what works and do more of that and as it turns out, we have a pretty good idea of what works in some cases like when for kids,” said Carper “We've had the folks here have had years of experience working with families working with children.”

Carper adds combining these federal dollars with state and local funding can make a difference in helping Delawareans facing the most pressing issues.

Ethan Grandin is a double major in Communications and International Relations at the University of Delaware, he is also the Politics Coordinator and a Staff Photographer at The Review. Ethan has a passion for covering politics In the future he hopes to continue to pursue journalism as a career and tell people's stories no matter how big or small.