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Fresno County Launches $111 Million Mental Health Push For Children

Andrew Nixon - file photo
Capital Public Radio
file photo

We’re at the start of another school year. And that means more than just a focus on basic academic skills. In Fresno County there’s a new push to address mental health and wellbeing. It’s part of a five year, $111 million dollar campaign that’s called “All 4 Youth” that’s bringing together the county’s office of education and the behavioral health department. We spoke with director Dawan Utecht to learn more about how the program aims to expand everything from suicide prevention to mental health triage by using a "hub and spoke" system for rural and urban schools. We also talked about the challenges of expanding services like this in a region that is already struggling with a shortage of mental health providers.