School Mental Health Initiative in Idaho Leads to Greater Mental Health Integration In Schools

October 27, 2020

Over the last year, the Northwest School Mental Health Team has been providing training and technical assistance in Idaho. As a result of those efforts and collaborations, our partners, like Optum, are emphasizing school mental health within an integrated framework in rural Idaho schools. 

Read their recently released case study on Enhancing Behavioral Health in Idaho Schools and preview an excerpt of the report below.

The pilot program revealed best practices for starting and operating school- based services. The goal: create an overall framework that integrates mental health providers, school staff, families and other community partners into a single system of support. Within that framework, adopt an evidence-backed, three-tier strategy. Using a variety of simple strategies, the first tier promotes positive mental health across the entire student body and screens all students for mental health concerns. At tiers two and three, students identified with emotional and psychological issues receive graduated interventions, with the most seriously affected receiving one-on-one treatment with behavioral health providers.

“We want to light the fuse and provide direction on how to get started,” says Dr. Woody. By December, Optum plans to hold a free webinar, followed by a one day, in-person session and distribution of a “toolkit” to schools, providers and other community partners throughout the state.

Want more information and school mental health resources? Visit the Northwest MHTTC's School Mental Health page and sign up for our monthly newsletter for regular updates about events, trainings, and resources available to the Northwest region.

NW Optum Case Study
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