National School Mental Health Implementation Guidance Modules and Related Projects

MHTTC National School Mental Health Best Practices: Implementation Guidance Modules for States, Districts, and Schools      

To help states, districts, and schools advance comprehensive school mental health, as well as engage in a planning process around implementation of services, the MHTTC Network Coordinating Office and National Center for School Mental Health developed the National School Mental Health Best Practices: Implementation Guidance Modules for States, Districts, and Schools (formerly known as the National School Mental Health Curriculum). The modules contain trainer and participant manuals, 8 module slide decks designed for delivery in one-hour sessions, and recorded virtual learning sessions that include a deeper dive into the module content. To access the Implementation Guidance Modules, click below.

The modules focus 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 modules are 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 modules align with the national performance domains and indicators established as part of the National Quality Initiative on School Health. Each module includes resources and tools to support learning extensions and can be adapted and built upon to be contextualized to regions, states, and districts.

Additional resources:

To help familiarize yourself with the material covered in each module, the Southeast MHTTC developed short, pre-recorded videos for each of the eight modules. Click below to view the videos for each module!

Our partners at the NCSMH developed School Mental Health Quality Guides to support school mental health implementation efforts. Key content from the guides is referenced in the Implementation Guidance Modules. For direct access to the most updated School Mental Health Quality Guides, visit the NCSMH website here.

Interested in accessing all resources included in the National School Mental Health Best Practices? Access the new National School Mental Health Best Practices Index: A Supplementary GuideThis document is an index to help users search and locate specific resources referenced within each of the 8 modules.

The Updated School Health Assessment and Performance Evaluation (SHAPE) System

SHAPE logo

The SHAPE System, developed by the NCSMH at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, 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.

In 2019, the MHTTC Network Coordinating Office collaborated 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 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. 

Any school mental health teams or school districts can use this dynamic, free online system to improve school mental health accountability, excellence, and sustainability. Click here to learn more about the SHAPE System and the exciting new features available!

Questions? Please feel free to contact the NCSMH team.

School Mental Health Best Practices Always and Now 8-Part Learning Series

The MHTTC Network hosted an 8-part training series using the National School Mental Health Best Practices: Implementation Guidance Modules for States, Districts, and Schools

  • In this series, each learning session included a pre-session video, panel session, and post-session regional breakout.
  • The purpose of the pre-session videos was to familiarize participants with the resource material for each module.
  • Sessions consisted of a discussion with a small panel of education and mental health leaders from across the country (including a member from the National Center for School Mental Health team), who provided an “always and now” application of the modules and innovative ideas for implementation, considering the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on school mental health.
  • The post-session Regional Breakout sessions were intended for participants to have an informal discussion regarding content from the live session, contextualized for their specific region. 

Click here to access the recordings of the presentations, a 2-page summary of the series, and additional resources for each session, including an FAQ document!

MHTTC National School Mental Health Learning Community

The MHTTC Network Coordinating Office and the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine co-facilitated the National School Mental Health Learning Community in early Spring 2019. The purpose of the Learning Community was 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 Community 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, former 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 was just one component of the National School Mental Health Learning Community. The MHTTC Network Coordinating Office and the NCSMH hosted five Virtual Learning Sessions that all Learning Community participants were invited to attend. The sessions provided didactic content, aligned with the National School Mental Health Best Practices modules, and participants were asked to share progress and lessons learned on specific improvement goals related to school mental health. In addition, participants exchanged resources, tools, templates, and other materials within the community to promote shared learning. To access recordings of the five Virtual Learning Sessions, click here.

The 2019 National School Mental Health Learning Community has concluded. If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Gonzalez at [email protected].

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