Every day, school and community leaders navigate unpredictable events. These events are called “crises” when they exceed a threshold of harm. To navigate a crisis successfully, school mental health leaders need the skills to contain the crisis, minimize subsequent trauma, and restore equity and equanimity in the school environment. Their leadership is integral across the continuum of crisis readiness, response, recovery, and renewal.
To help schools navigate our current crises and prepare for future crises, the Pacific Southwest MHTTC asked educators and school mental health leaders in Region 9 to share their experiences in leading school systems, communities, and sites through crisis. These leaders shared: what did they wish they knew at the time of crisis? What have they learned? What did they take with them?
"School Mental Health Crisis Leadership Lessons: Voices of Experience from Leaders in the Pacific Southwest Region" highlights how school mental health leaders can – and do – work with and through crises.
The "School Mental Health Crisis Leadership Lessons" guide provides an overview of the crisis continuum; explores the intersection between school crises and school mental health leadership; and examines each component of the school crisis continuum (readiness, response, recovery and renewal) by learning from voices of experience from the field. A complementary Reflection Worksheet is designed to help readers work through the guide.
The guide was developed by Leora Wolf-Prusan, EdD, Pacific Southwest MHTTC School Mental Health Lead, and David Schonfeld, MD, FAAP, National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, with contributions from 18 partner organizations and school mental health leaders from our region and the two population focused MHTTCs: the National Hispanic and Latino and the National American Indian and Alaska Native MHTTCs.