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Comprehensive School Mental Health System

Comprehensive school mental health systems provide an array of support and services that promote positive school climate, social and emotional learning, and mental health and well-being, all in a strategic partnership with students and families, as well as community mental health and mental health providers.

Mental health is defined as the social, emotional, and behavioral well-being of students.

Mental health services are broadly defined as any activities, services, and supports that address social, emotional, and behavioral well-being of students, including substance use.

Mental Health

  • Increase mental health literacy for all students, families, and staff
  • Implement best practices for mental health screening to determine whether students may be at risk for a mental health concern.
  • Provide mental health promotion services and supports for all students regardless of whether they are at risk for mental health problems.
  • Provide early intervention services and supports to address the mental health concerns of students who are experiencing mild distress, functional impairment, or are at risk for a given problem or concern.
  • Provide treatment services and supports to address mental health concerns for students experiencing significant distress and functional impairment.

Positive School Climate and Culture

  • Assess and improve school climate
  • Assess and improve trauma-informed practices

Social Emotional Learning

  • Increase social and emotional learning skills for all students and staff.
  • Identify student strengths and developmental assets (i.e. school connectedness, social skills, self-determination, decision-making, etc.) and commit to continuously improving SEL-related systems and practices.

Community Engagement

  • Support a full continuum of care within a multi-tiered system of support by school and community partners working together and maximizing their knowledge and resources.
  • Involve students and families in all aspects of prevention, intervention, and health promotion design, implementation and evaluation.
  • Use multiple and diverse funding sources (district, local, state, and federal) and types of funding (grants, private foundation funding, etc.) to support a sustainable comprehensive school mental health system.