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Creating Opportunities in Preventing & Eliminating Suicide (COPES)

The Mental Health Student Services Act (MHSSA) was passed in 2019 to establish partnerships between County Behavioral Health Departments and County Offices of Education or other local educational entities to support these partnerships and expand mental health services to students across the State of California. The County of San Diego Behavioral Health Services and the San Diego County Office of Education were awarded a four-year $6 million MHSSA grant starting in December 2021.

The SDCOE will lead the COPES initiative and build the capacity of LEAs to support school communities that champion mental wellness by targeting efforts in:

  • Staff and student wellness resiliency
  • Stigma reduction
  • Suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention
  • Professional development and programming for educators, staff, students, and families
  • Coordinated referral pathways for students needing mental/behavioral health services

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main contacts

Mara Madrigal-Weiss
Executive Director,
Student Wellness and School Culture
858-298-2068

Amanda Holt
Administrative Assistant III,
Student Wellness and School Culture
858-298-2075

Heather Nemour
Program Specialist,
Student Wellness and School Culture
858-298-2093

Jonathan Meraz
Budget Technician,
Student Support Services Student Wellness and School Culture
858-298-2172