Griffith Memorial Foundation Donation to Dr Barnette

The Stephen K. Griffith Memorial Fund on Tuesday donated $10,000 to Cullman County Schools to support student and family mental health services.

The memorial fund was established to honor the memory of Stephen K. Griffith and to expand mental health services in Cullman County.

The fund was established in June of 2018 by Steve’s wife Jackie, son Wyles (Brandy) Griffith, and daughter, Sarah Frances (Donovon) Lovell. Through this fund, the Griffith family hopes to raise mental health awareness and fill the gap in services available in the community, especially among those with little or no financial means to access mental health services. 

These funds will enable students and families with little or no financial means to access treatment for crisis situations and/or poor mental health concerns to receive services at no cost. The emphasis will be placed on preventative measures to improve mental health, student and family safety concerns, and reduce crisis situations. 

Over the past few years, Cullman County Schools, like all school systems in the state, have seen an ever-increasing need for student and family mental health services. In fact, Cullman County Schools is in year two of a program by the State Legislature that selects and funds a Mental Health Services Coordinator position currently held by Karen Pinion. The role of this position is to coordinate mental health services for students and families within the school system, identify potential gaps in mental health needs of students and families,  and address specific areas of professional development for personnel as it relates to social-emotional learning, mental health awareness,  and suicide prevention. 

Additionally, Cullman County Schools contracts with Family Support Services to offer School-Based Mental Health Therapy and employs four full-time social workers and one part-time social worker to work directly with students and families to address a variety of needs, specifically, mental health needs.