Bowie State University has been awarded a four-year, $5 million grant from The U.S. Department of Education to support mental health counselors in Maryland public schools.

Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer visited the HBCU campus on Wednesday to sit down with students and administrators to discuss the mental health needs of public school students.

“We need to make sure we have counseling expertise that will identify the problems and intervene in making those problems much less severe,” Hoyer said.

The U.S. Department of Education awarded Bowie State a four-year, $5 million grant to support mental health counselors in Maryland public schools. (Credit: Kellye Lynn, 7News)

“We’re seeing a significant impact on the emotional upheaval of our children in the aftermath of COVID-19,” said Dr. Aminta Breaux, President of Bowie State University. “So, in this partnership, we’re able to produce more school counselors, more teachers that have that culturally responsive model.”

According to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics,  public schools have seen an increase in mental health concerns among their students since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This new grant will allow Bowie to provide culturally responsive counseling training to school-based mental health providers and graduate students at the university who are preparing to join the school counseling profession.”It’s going to allow students to get funding hopefully during their internship and also going to prepare better the school counselors once they join the workforce in Montgomery, Prince George’s County, and Anne Arundel County,” Bowie State graduate student Monica Chica said.