National School Mental Health 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. We are partnering with the National Center for School Mental Health, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, to provide the following:
National School Mental Health Learning Collaborative
The Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network Coordinating Office and the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine are co-facilitating the National School Mental Health Learning Collaborative. The purpose of the Learning Collaborative is 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.
The in-person learning session is just one component of the National School Mental Health Learning Collaborative. What follows are five Virtual Learning Sessions that all Learning Collaborative participants are invited to attend. The sessions will provide didactic content, aligned with the National School Mental Health Curriculum modules, and participants will be asked to share progress and lessons learned on specific improvement goals related to school mental health. In addition, participants will be asked to exchange resources, tools, templates, and other materials within the collaborative to promote shared learning.
See dates for the five Virtual Learning Sessions below:
Virtual Learning Session 1 - Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 3:00 to 4:15 ET
Virtual Learning Session 2 - Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 3:00 to 4:15 ET
Virtual Learning Session 3 - Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 3:00 to 4:15 ET
Virtual Learning Session 4 - Thursday, July 11, 2019 at 3:00 to 4:15 ET
Virtual Learning Session 5 - Thursday, August 1, 2019 at 3:00 to 4:15 ET
Please note that all Virtual Learning Sessions will be recorded and archived on the MHTTC website.
If you have any questions regarding registration for the Virtual Learning Sessions or the National School Mental Health Learning Collaborative in general, please contact Jessica Gonzalez at email@example.com
National School Mental Health Curriculum: Guidance and Best Practices for States, Districts and Schools
Research supports the impact of school mental health services, from promoting mental health and preventing occurrences of problems (Tier 1), to preventing risk factors or early-onset problems from progressing (Tier 2), to individually intervening to address more serious concerns that impact student daily functioning (Tier 3). Yet, many schools struggle with how to get started or to move from the basic services they provide to a more comprehensive, multi-tiered system of supports.
To help states, districts, and schools advance comprehensive school mental health policies and practices for students across the United States, as well as engage in a planning process around implementation of services, the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network Coordinating Office and National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) are finalizing a national school mental health curriculum focused 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 curriculum includes 8 modules that align with the national performance domains and indicators of comprehensive school mental health system quality. These domains and indicators were established as part of the National Quality Initiative on School Health, and were developed through an iterative process led by the NCSMH with significant and diverse stakeholder input.
The curriculum includes trainer and participant manuals, slide decks, online webinar segments, and guidance and tools to advance the implementation of school mental health services. The MHTTC National School Mental Health Learning Collaborative, which focuses on improving school mental health and safety policies and practices, is aligned with the modules within this school mental health curriculum. Participants of the Learning Collaborative had the opportunity to utilize the curriculum during the 2-day intensive in-person learning session to support strategic planning in collaboration with others from their states. The curriculum is currently being finalized by the MHTTC Network Coordinating Office and the NCSMH to incorporate feedback provided at the in-person learning session. The final curriculum will be available on the MHTTC website in Summer 2019.
The School Health Assessment and Performance Evaluation (SHAPE) System
The was developed by the NCSMH for education and mental health leadership to document the landscape of school mental health and then to engage in a quality improvement process to enhance these systems. The SHAPE System 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.
Currently, the MHTTC Network Coordinating Office is collaborating 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 will 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. The new SHAPE System will launch Fall 2019.