Now is the Time/Project for Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education (AWARE)
- Don Kincaid, EdD
- Natalie Romer, PhD
The University of South Florida manages three major components of the Now is the Time Project for Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education State Educational Agency Program (NITT-AWARE-SEA) program including program evaluation, building capacity for an integrated multi-tiered system of mental health supports and implementation of Youth Mental Health First Aid at the state and local level. The Florida AWARE program supports districts in employing a public health approach to promoting mental wellness and ensuring that when Florida youth do experience mental health problems they have access to effective and coordinated mental health supports. The program supports the state’s effort to scale-up an integrated multi-tiered system of supports to be more inclusive of youth with mental health needs and expand the collaboration of state agencies, district personnel, families, and youth.
Florida AWARE is committed to assisting districts in developing safer schools, improving school climate, increasing awareness of mental health issues, and developing a continuum of social, emotional, and behavioral supports that ensures improved outcomes for all students. Florida AWARE facilitates implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive, cross-agency plan developed by the State Management Team and coordinate technical assistance that initially targets three Florida AWARE districts (Pinellas, Polk and Duval).
- Support state level activities including facilitation of a multi-agency State Management Team (SMT) and SMT
- Build the capacity of the District Implementation Teams of the three collaborating districts through professional development and direct technical assistance.
- Coordinate the implementation of Youth Mental Health First Aid training within the three collaborating districts and across the state.
- Oversee, develop, and implement the Florida AWARE Coordination and Integration plan.
Long Term Impact
- Increase awareness of mental health issues within our youth, families, schools and communities
- Increase implementation of evidence-based culturally responsive mental health practices
- Increase youth access to mental health services and supports within a multi-tiered framework
- Developed Florida AWARE Coordination and Integration Plan reflecting program goals and objectives of all program partners at the state and district level.
- Facilitate 4 State Management Team (SMT) meetings and ongoing SMT workgroup meetings annually.
- Provide on-going technical assistance to the collaborating districts implementing the Coordination and Integration Plan.
- Coordinate amongst program partners management of the program.
- Train at least 585 Youth Mental Health First Aiders each year of the program.
- Train up to 30 Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructors each year of the program.