Improving access to school-based mental health and social emotional supports and programs is critical in preventing and identifying — early-on — mental health challenges in children and youth. Involving school staff, families, youth, and community agencies and providers, such as mental health, juvenile justice, law enforcement, and other child- and youth- serving organizations, ensures that schools and communities are developing and implementing a comprehensive approach to promote mental health and link students with effective services and supports.
Related Funding Opportunity
The U.S. Department of Education has issued a notice inviting Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration Grant Program applications for fiscal year (FY) 2019. Below are links to get more information on the grant application, as well as access the grant application package.
Below is a selection of seminal resources on promoting mental health in schools.
Mental Health Module Series
Provides an interactive series of self-paced learning modules on developing and implementing a comprehensive school mental health program that includes best practices, engaging staff, families, and youth, partnering with community mental health, and data collection and program evaluation. The mental health modules can be used by school and community staff and mental health providers.
University of Maryland Behavioral Health Online Training
Offers training modules on topics such as mental health to support student learning; mental health training interventions for health providers in schools; and community-partnered school behavioral health implementation. Once registered, participants receive access to implementation training videos, downloadable materials, tips from providers who have implemented the interventions, and expert advice on a variety of topics related to implementation and fidelity.
Safe Schools Framework Implementation Toolkit (SS/HS FIT)
Helps school- and community-based teams plan, implement, and sustain a comprehensive approach to mental health promotion, school safety, and youth violence prevention. The SS/HS FIT offers planning guides, online learning modules, handbooks, worksheets, podcasts, and other customizable tools that schools and communities can adapt.
School Health Assessment and Performance Evaluation (SHAPE) System
Offers school and district mental health teams, once registered with the SHAPE System, access to assessments and resources developed by the National Center for School Mental Health to advance school mental health quality and sustainability and advance a data-driven team process for schools and districts.
Trauma-Sensitive Schools Training Package
Offers school and district administrators and staff a framework and roadmap for adopting a trauma-sensitive approach school- or districtwide. The interactive training package includes a variety of resources for educating school staff about trauma and trauma-sensitive practices and for providing school leaders with a step-by-step process for implementing a universal, trauma-informed approach using package materials.
Creating a Safe and Respectful Environment in Our Nation’s Classrooms
Helps teachers address bullying in classrooms. Specifically, it is designed to assist teachers in cultivating meaningful relationships with students while creating a positive climate in the classroom.
Helps bus drivers address bullying on school buses. Specifically, it is designed to assist school bus drivers in cultivating meaningful relationships with students while creating a positive climate on the bus.
Comprehensive School Mental Health Services: Why and What?
Discusses the extent and nature of mental health needs among the nation’s children and youth and the importance of addressing those needs with effective services and supports to improve the lives of children, youth, families, and communities. In this webinar, facilitators, Frank Rider and Elizabeth Freeman, from the American Institutes for Research presented general models and key components to build comprehensive school mental health services.
School-based Mental Health Services Programs
Provides skills to develop a school-based mental health services program by building an infrastructure to support a comprehensive school mental/behavioral health program; developing partnerships to assess student and community needs; determining resources needed; developing and supporting evidence-based approaches to fit the needs of students and schools; and collecting evidence to inform continuous improvement and accountability.
Improving School Climate and Connectedness: The Role of School Counselors
Explores effective strategies for addressing school climate and the role school counselors can play in enhancing school climate and school-based mental health through school climate teams.
Building Trauma-Informed Communities for Youth
Presents information on how trauma affects all youth, including boys and young men of color, and trauma-sensitive approaches to ensure young people reach their full potential. This webinar informs on the types and prevalence of trauma among youth; impact of trauma on youth, families, community providers, and educators; and core principles of instilling a trauma-informed approach across youth-serving systems.
Integrating Social-Emotional Learning into State and District Policies
Identifies approaches states and districts have taken to implement SEL policies; described the role SEL plays in successfully integrating current education initiatives; and how to implement strategies to integrate SEL into state and district initiatives.
Quick Reference Guide: Strategies to Sustain and Expand School Mental Health Services at the Local/Community Level
Offers examples from a variety of districts that received a Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) grant on how they sustained and expanded school-based mental health services on the following strategic approaches: collaboration and partnerships; technology; policy change; capacity building; and systemic change and integration.
Quick Reference Guide: Strategies to Sustain and Expand School Mental Health Services at the State Level
Provides examples from states that received a Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) grant on how they sustained and expanded school-based mental health services on the following strategic approaches: collaboration and partnerships; technology; policy change; capacity building; and systemic change and integration.
School Mental Health Screening Playbook: Best Practices and Tips from the Field
Presents information on practical strategies on how to select and administer screening tools and processes for early identification and intervention of mental and behavioral health challenges.
School Mental Health Teaming Playbook: Best Practices and Tips from the Field
Discusses the importance of a school mental health team, comprised of school and community stakeholders, that meet regularly and use data-based decision making to support student mental health, including improving school climate, promoting student and staff well-being, and addressing individual student strengths and needs.
School-Based Mental Health Services: Improving Student Learning and Well-Being
Provides information, developed by the National Association of School Psychologists, on the importance of school-based mental health services including providing a continuum of services across a multi-tiered system of support.