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About Us

What is Project Aware?

The purpose of the AWARE grant is to build or expand the capacity of State Educational Agencies in partnership with State Mental Health Agencies and Local Education Agencies to 1) increase awareness of mental health issues among students 2) provide training to school personnel and other adults who interact with students to detect and respond to mental health issues; and 3) connect students, who may have behavioral health issues, serious emotional disturbance or serious mental illness, and their families to needed services.

Project AWARE is a SAMHSA grant totaling $8,616,110. It is a five year grant that will increase mental health services and supports to students in Elk City, Weatherford and Woodward public schools. Project AWARE has added an additional licensed mental health professional in each district as well as a community manager. These individuals with the project AWARE team are working to ensure students mental health needs are met within district buildings as well as increase partnerships and mental health awareness in the community.

In September 2020, a second SAMHSA grant was awarded totaling $8,981,170. This is also a five year grant that will increase mental health services and supports to students in Ada City, Atoka, and Checotah Public Schools. 




AWARE Counselor: Kendall Jones

AWARE Counselor: Kendall Jones, LCSW, CADC –

AWARE Community Manager: Shawnna Wilhite

AWARE Community Manager: Shawnna Wilhite –

School Counselors

Marshall Elementary Counselor: Katelyn Walker –

Intermediate Counselor: Jaide Wallace –

Middle School Counselor: Rebekah Burnett –

High School Counselor: Regan Foreman –

                                         Janie Underhill –

School Based Social Workers

Tami Duvall –

Carrie Vogt – csvogt@checotah.k12.okus

School Resource Officer

Ron Goad –



Grant Goals

Goal 1: Develop a community and family mental health awareness and outreach campaign incorporating activities designed to engage youth and family to increase knowledge of mental health issues and awareness of school and community based resources designed to support improved mental health in the community.

Goal 2: Refine school discipline policies to reduce loss of instructional time and school removals,.

Goal 3:  Increase the percentage of Oklahoma youth and families receiving needed mental health services through collaboration between LEAs and community mental health providers.

Goal 4:  Train all faculty in OK AWARE districts to identify and respond to students experiencing a mental health issue or crisis.

AWARE Objectives

Grant Objectives

1.1 Parents,  school staff, and community members attending outreach activities will increase their awareness of mental health issues by an average of 25%.

1.2 The number of local and state policy changes in mental health will increase by 25% per year as measured by baseline data collected in year one.

1.3 Mental Health workforce will increase from two to seven employees by the end of the grant as measured by LPC certification data.

1.4 Increase the number of organizations that entered into a formal written agreement with participating LEAs to improve mental health-related practices/activities from the current number of 7 organizations to 12.

2.1 School discipline referrals will reduce 15% per year as measured by baseline data collected in the 2018-19 school year.

2.2 School suspensions and expulsions will reduce 15% per year as measured by baseline data collected in the first year.

3.1 100% of students enrolled in 3 LEAs will complete a universal mental health screening a minimum of twice per year as measured by screening results and number of students referred for Tier 2 and Tier 3 services.

3.2 75% of students receiving Tier 2 interventions will demonstrate a positive response to the intervention within one year of receiving intervention services that have been tied to their specific needs as measured by follow-up universal mental health screening results, student data evaluation records and fidelity logs.