SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield College was awarded a $3 million grant to train counselors to address increasing mental health needs.

The grant was written to enhance the training and number of Black, Ingenious, and people of color and linguistically diverse school counselors in Springfield and Holyoke Public Schools. These funds will pay for the training of school counselors with a strong mental health focus.

School counselor trainees will be prepared by faculty in the Department of Counseling through either an accelerated program, designed for those who hold master’s degrees in related fields or a traditional graduate education program.

There will also be a pipeline to mentor and support high school students who are interested in pursuing a counseling degree in the future. 22News sat down with the chair and professor in the Department of Counseling at Springfield College to learn more about this program’s initiatives.

“Our goal is to train more counselors to retrain people who are in other mental health or social work field who want to become school counselors, and then to start a pipeline for high school students who are thinking they want to go into the health professions,” said Allison Cumming-McCann, the chair, and professor in the Department of Counseling at Springfield College.

McCann continued by saying that they want to increase the capacity for counselors, and increase support and training for current counselors. Anyone interested in learning more about, or applying for the school counseling program, can contact the College admissions department or visit their website.