PRAIRIE DU SAC (WKOW) -- The Sauk Prairie School District will use a big grant to help students and others deal with mental health issues.
The district is getting more than $4.5 million over five years from the U.S. Department of Education.
It'll be used to make schools a hub for mental health services for students and their families.
"We're not the only community in Wisconsin that's facing these challenges," superintendent Jeff Wright said during a news conference Tuesday. "I believe that the U.S. Department of Education invested in this grant proposal because it saw potential for us creating a replicable model that can help school districts and agencies charged with supporting families all across Wisconsin."
Wright says the district invested in a new program last summer designed to help students, staff and their families get access to mental health care. The program is free, confidential and available 24 hours a day.
Wright says he was surprised to see that 18% of people who reached out for help were not students, but rather, parents, grandparents and other community members who sought help for anxiety, marriage counseling or other needs.
"This new program we launched last summer is just one step toward more effectively meeting the mental health needs of our community," Wright said. "But this grant today from the U.S. Department of Education will make us go much further."