WISCONSIN — The state is looking to better meet the mental health needs of Wisconsin students; needs that have been increased during the pandemic.

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) recently announced a new project that creates a statewide coaching network and resource center.  

"We want every child in the state of Wisconsin to be seen, heard, felt and valued," Future Cain, a statewide project coordinator with the Wisconsin Center for Resilient Schools (WCRS), said.

The free services and resources for this project are provided by WCRS. 

Cain pointed out Wisconsin is number one in anxiety and depression as a state.  

"And since COVID has hit we've seen an increase in that, and there's been an increase over the years in regards to mental health especially for students ages six to 17."

Cain acknowledged each district or individual school has a foundation already built.  

"[...] When we come in and we coach we are looking to embed greater systems and make a system that was already good, great,” she said.

The goal is to support each school's autonomy, and according to Cain, "we do that through relationship building and through gathering all the evidence and the data that the school has."

The project was funded by the federal government and runs through June of 2022.  It's open to any district for public, private and charter schools.

Schools interested in the free services and resources provided by the WCRS are asked to fill out an inquiry form