Merkley, Wyden Announce Nearly $1 Million to Prevent School Violence in Multnomah County

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announce $999,931 million in federal funds to assist in the prevention of school violence in Multnomah County. Multnomah County Health Department (MCHD) has proposed a Category 2 STOP School Violence projected aimed at empowering students and school personnel to prevent and respond appropriately to violence and mental health crises.

“Prioritizing mental health care will allow our children to thrive and provide necessary resources to help address and prevent mental health crises that may put an individual and those around them in danger,” said Merkley. “I’m glad these funds will help Multnomah County Health Department continue their push to develop and foster programs to help educate and equip students, teachers, and community leaders to prevent and respond to mental health crises.”

“With mental health challenges for young Oregonians being magnified by the pandemic, I’m especially gratified that Multnomah County’s Health Department has earned these federal funds to help keep students, their teachers and all school staff safe,” Wyden said. “Schoolchildren and the adults caring for them shouldn’t have to worry about violence in their places of learning, and I’ll keep battling to provide similar resources for communities across our state working to treat mental health crises and head off the threat of violence.”

MCHD’s project will take a public health approach to school violence prevention, focusing on reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors, emphasizing individual-and relationship skill-building and policy, systems, and environmental changes in school settings. This grant money will help MCHD fund and provide training and technical assistance to middle and high school teachers and other school staff, school districts, and key partners to build schools’ capacity to implement effective practices and programs with students. Additionally, this project will also work closely with community-based organizations that provide after-school programing, educational support, and other youth-based programs aimed at providing Conflict Resolution Education (CRE) activities.