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School violence, including school-based gun violence, is a major public health issue that has negative consequences for students, families, schools, and communities (Basile et al., 2020; Peterson et al., 2021). One approach that schools have adopted to address school violence is behavioral threat assessment (BTA). Based on a request from our funder, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), we developed a report on behavioral threat assessment and its intersection with youth mental health.

 

This report aims to:

  1. Describe the problem of school violence and how BTA became a widely implemented school violence prevention strategy; 
  2. Report on the current state of BTA implementation and its effectiveness; 
  3. Discuss considerations for the fit and appropriateness of using BTA in schools; and 
  4. Offer recommendations for schools, policymakers, funders, researchers, and SAMHSA on addressing BTA use in schools.

Note: Contents of this report were presented at the 2023 Advancing School Mental Health Conference. View the presentation slides here