School- Based Mental Health Program

Mental health awareness is an important issue for all educators, who are often the first line of support in addressing mental health needs for students. Education professionals have recognized the impact that a student's mental health has on learning and achievement, and they realize that there's a great deal that can be done to help students with mental health issues.

Students walking

That is why we are making school mental health a priority in the Mountain Plains region. We provide training, technical assistance, and resources to support school- based mental health. We have a variety of online resource guides and toolkits, curricula and self-paced trainings to assist school professionals in understanding and implementing core concepts of best practices in school mental health. We are also available for technical assistance and in person or distance training on topics and issues most relevant to your school, district or state. We focus on rural schools and trauma responsive practices.

Our primary goals are to:

  • Provide training and technical assistance on implementation of evidence based mental health services, supports and programs in schools and districts.
  • Build capacity and create learning communities.
  • Provide resources and support for schools, districts and teachers to address trauma and incorporate trauma responsive practices in the classroom.
  • Integrate mental health into teacher preparation so teachers are prepared to support all students.


Some of our current initiatives:

  • School Mental Health Toolkit
    This is a blueprint for school mental health services and will guide community members, schools, local leaders, and districts through 10 best practices, including strategies for implementing, funding, and sustaining mental health services in schools. The toolkit will help you make the case for schools to implement practices such as screenings, suicide prevention, and wellness plans. An updated version will be available Fall 2019.
    Watch for upcoming webinars and presentations on the School Mental Health Toolkit
  • Building Capacity of School Personnel to Promote Positive Mental Health in Children and Youth
    Free Self-Paced Continuing Education (6 contact hours) opportunity for all school personnel. The purpose of this course is to build capacity of frontline interdisciplinary personnel to address the mental health needs of children and youth in schools by embedding strategies throughout the day using a multi-tiered approach. Participants will learn how to implement Every Moment Counts model programs and embedded strategies ( Emphasis is on knowledge translation and implementation of evidence-based mental health promotion and prevention strategies within a Community of Practice (CoP).
  • Trauma Informed Care and Practices 3-part webinar series
    Dr. Tami DeCoteau, a national expert on trauma-informed care, offers insight to providers and educators interested in gaining a deeper understanding of trauma, including content on historical trauma and adverse childhood experiences. The science of trauma-informed care compels us to look more deeply into the human physiological process and understand how DNA provides evidence of intergenerational trauma. Sessions included: Regulatory Strategies, Sensory Strategies, Correcting Behaviors.
  • Promoting Positive Mental Health in Rural Schools: A Resource Guide
    This resource guide provides an examination of policy and practice implications and offers tools to assess students’ needs. Included are suggestions for next steps and evidence-based strategies to assist rural school officials in meeting the mental health needs of their student body.
  • National School Mental Health Curriculum
    To help states, districts, and schools across the United States understand the core components of comprehensive school mental health and plan for implementation, the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network Coordinating Office and National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) developed a national school mental health curriculum focused on the following: Educators and Student Instructional Support Personnel, Collaboration and Teaming, Multi-Tiered System of Supports, Evidence-Informed Services and Supports, Cultural Responsiveness and Equity and Data-Driven Decision Making. The curriculum includes a trainer manual, participant manual, 8 slide decks designed for delivery in one-hour in-person sessions, and 5 recorded virtual learning sessions.

    Training and technical assistance is available to all states/district in Region 8 to bring all or parts of this training to you. Please contact us to get more information and let us know how we can support your efforts to improve school mental health.



School Mental Health

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Rural School Mental Health

Trauma Responsive Practices