National School Mental Health Curriculum and Related Projects

In an effort to address the issues that impact access and provision of mental health services in schools across the US, the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network Coordinating Office is identifying and facilitating cross-network and cross-regional activities to promote screening for mental health issues in schools, adoption of evidence-based mental health practices by school personnel, and capacity of schools to appropriately refer students to mental health services. 

The MHTTC National School Mental Health Curriculum:
Guidance and Best Practices for States, Districts, and Schools 


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To access the National School Mental Health Curriculum, click here.

To help states, districts, and schools advance comprehensive school mental health, as well as engage in a planning process around implementation of services, the MHTTC Network Coordinating Office and National Center for School Mental Health developed a national school mental health curriculum.

The curriculum contains:

  • Trainer manual
  • Participant manual
  • 8 slide decks – each module is designed for delivery in one-hour in-person sessions
  • 5 recorded virtual learning sessions (April – August 2019) - each recording is 75 minutes

The curriculum focuses on the following core components of comprehensive school mental health:

  • Educators and Student Instructional Support Personnel
  • Collaboration and Teaming
  • Multi-Tiered System of Supports
  • Evidence-Informed Services and Supports
  • Cultural Responsiveness and Equity
  • Data-Driven Decision Making


The curriculum is intended to be used by district teams to influence, develop, and oversee school mental health systems at the school district- and building-levels. District teams may include:

  • School District Leaders (e.g., Superintendent, School Board)
  • School Administrators (e.g., Principal, Assistant Principal)
  • District Mental Health Director or Student Services Supervisor (e.g., Director of Student Services, District Supervisor School Psychologists/Social Workers/Counselors)
  • Community Behavioral Health Agency Supervisor/Director (e.g., Clinical Director of an agency that provides school-based services in the district)
  • Youth/Family Advocate or Consumer 


The modules align with the national performance domains and indicators established as part of the National Quality Initiative on School Health. Each module includes resources and tools to support learning extensions and can be adapted and built upon to be contextualized to regions, states, and districts.  

Additional resources:
Interested in accessing all resources included in the National School Mental Health Curriculum? Access the new National School Mental Health Curriculum Index: A Supplementary GuideThis document is an index to help users search and locate specific resources referenced within each of the 8 modules of the Curriculum.

Since the Curriculum was launched, it has been downloaded over 2,000 times across the United States and over 20 other countries! Check out the reach of the Curriculum here.

The Updated School Health Assessment and Performance Evaluation (SHAPE) System

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The SHAPE Systemdeveloped by the NCSMH at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, is a free, private, web-based portal that offers a virtual workspace for school mental health teams at school, district, and state levels to document, track, and advance quality and sustainability improvement goals as well as assess trauma responsiveness. The SHAPE System also offers access to free action planning, mapping, program implementation resources and other critical tools to advance comprehensive school mental health systems.


In 2019, the MHTTC Network Coordinating Office collaborated with the NCSMH to refine current and develop new resources, tools, and curricula for the SHAPE System that address unique regional and state considerations. Enhancements to the SHAPE System include expanding the capacity of the state dashboard to allow for viewing of progress across regions, and offering districts and states a more targeted and personalized action planning and mapping process for quality improvement in school mental health. 


Any school mental health teams or school districts can use this dynamic, free online system to improve school mental health accountability, excellence, and sustainability. Click here to learn more about the SHAPE System and the exciting new features available!

Questions? Please feel free to contact the NCSMH team.

MHTTC National School Mental Health Learning Collaborative

The MHTTC Network Coordinating Office and the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine co-facilitated the National School Mental Health Learning Collaborative in early Spring 2019. The purpose of the Learning Collaborative was to build state and regional capacity to advance comprehensive school mental health policies and practices, tailored to local strengths and needs, based on shared learning and technical assistance.

The Learning Collaborative officially kicked off in March with an intensive 2-day In-Person Learning Session in Maryland. Over 160 participants were in attendance, including MHTTC Center staff and state and district mental health and education leaders representing 36 states. In addition, Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, Assistant Secretary of Mental Health and Substance Use, Department of Health and Human Services, provided opening remarks on the second day. Overall, the meeting provided a wealth of information that we hope will be helpful in advancing comprehensive school mental health policies and practices across the nation. 


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The in-person learning session was just one component of the National School Mental Health Learning Collaborative. The MHTTC Network Coordinating Office and the NCSMH hosted five Virtual Learning Sessions that all Learning Collaborative participants were invited to attend. The sessions provided didactic content, aligned with the National School Mental Health Curriculum modules, and participants were asked to share progress and lessons learned on specific improvement goals related to school mental health. In addition, participants exchanged resources, tools, templates, and other materials within the collaborative to promote shared learning. To access recordings of the five Virtual Learning Sessions, click here.

The 2019 National School Mental Health Learning Collaborative has concluded. If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Gonzalez at