Student Mental Health and School Resources

There is a huge unmet need for mental health services among children and young adults. School mental health services can help meet that need.

Students walking

One priority area for the Mountain Plains MHTTC is to provide training and resources for schools in region 8 in an effort to prepare educators and school staff to work with students with mental illness. Current trainings and technical assistance offered by the Mountain Plains MHTTC are building the capacity of frontline interdisciplinary personnel by using embedded strategies to address the mental health needs of children and youth in schools throughout Region 8.

The current initiative employs a Community of Practice (CoP) model, which emphasizes knowledge translation and implementation of evidence-based mental health promotion strategies. The program is led by Sarah Nielsen, PhD, OTR/L, technical trainer and Susan Bazyk, PhD, OTR/L, Every Moment Counts. Training sessions have included discussion of knowledge, reflection, and action through a strategic plan developed by each school. The project has also provided a one-day mental health specific training tailored to each school’s individual needs.


Recent Mountain Plains MHTTC Trainings on Student Mental Health

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): A Conversation with Dr. Donald Warne
    Director of the Mountain Plains MHTTC, Professor Thomasine Heitkamp, interviews a national expert on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Dr. Donald Warne, who offers insight to providers and educators interested in gaining a deeper understanding of ACEs, including content on historical trauma and addressing stigma.
  • Grand Forks Public Schools Community Call to Action Strategic Planning
    An intensive training session where participant groups developed their mission statements, and clarified steps to achieve their group's goals by September 2019. The groups included: mental health education, community mental health resources, data and policy to support mental health, and mental health community outreach.
  • Processes for Building Capacity of School Personnel to Address the Mental Health Needs of Students
    Dr. Sarah Nielsen provided an overview of the Community of Practice Sessions on Building Capacity for Schools to Address the Mental Health Needs of Students.
  • Higher Education Teacher Preparation Workgroup: Session 1
    Stafanie Winifield, Liza Tupa, and Dennis Mohatt will be bringing together professors in teacher education to share ideas and ways to integrate mental health into new teacher training.


Resources from the MHTTC National Coordinating Office

The MHTTC National School Mental Health Curriculum: Guidance and Best Practices for States, Districts, and Schools
Co-developed by the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network Coordinating Office and the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) to help states, districts, and schools across the United States understand the core components of comprehensive school mental health and engage in a planning process, this national school mental health curriculum focuses on the following core features of effective school mental health initiatives:

  • Roles for 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