Trauma Informed Care


Contact: Lori Perlow, Public Information Officer

856-701-3170 or


Collingswood School District Awarded $1.9 Million Dollar Grant for Trauma Support Services and Mental Health Care (


COLLINGSWOOD, NJ – The Collingwood Public School District is the recipient of a significant grant award in the amount of $1.9 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Funds received through the “Trauma-Informed Care in Schools Grant” will be used to increase student access to evidence-based and culturally relevant trauma support services and mental health care by developing innovative initiatives, activities, and programs to link schools with direct services. The grant funds will be awarded over a period of two years with the opportunity to extend for up to three additional years. 


“We are grateful to have been awarded funds through the Trauma-Informed Care in Schools Grant. The primary use of these grant funds will be to convert existing space at the secondary campus into a wellness center for students,” explained Dr. Fred McDowell, superintendent of Collingswood and Oaklyn Public Schools. 


The center will be staffed during the school day with trained professionals including two social workers, a behavioral specialist, and a nurse practitioner.  There are plans to hire a social-emotional learning coach and an academic intervention coach to help the secondary campus integrate social-emotional learning, positive behavior support, and other evidence-based initiatives that align with students' social, emotional, and mental health. The wellness center is expected to open for students in late winter or early spring. The community will be invited to tour the new space and learn more about available services.


The District acknowledges the extraordinary efforts of the grant application team composed of Dr. Karen Principato, Ms. Deb Vesper, Dr. Beth Whitehouse, Ms. Kristin O'Lexy, Dr. Michael Ostroff, Mr. Dan Whalen, Ms. Anita Genca and Ms. Beth Ann Coleman. 


“This grant will expedite our ability to meet the critical mental health needs of students in a meaningful way during the school day. We’re taking a very intentional approach by integrating mental health services with specific academic support. Our students deserve this level of care and we believe it will have a positive impact on student achievement for years to come,” stated Dr. Fred McDowell. 


#   #   #


About Collingswood Public School District

Collingswood Public School District is located in Camden County and serves more than 2,100 students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.

About the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation.