U.S. Department of Education Releases New Resource on Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health

October 22, 2021

U.S. Department of Education Releases New Resource on Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health during COVID-19 Era


On October 19th, 2021 the U.S. Department of Education released a new resource: Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health to provide information and resources to enhance the promotion of mental health and the social and emotional well-being among children and students. This resource highlights seven key challenges to providing school- or program-based mental health support across early childhood, K–12 schools, and higher education settings, and presents seven corresponding recommendations. This resource includes many real-world examples of how the recommendations are being put into action by schools, communities, and states across the country.

State Education Agencies and local school districts can use the resources in the American Rescue Plan's Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief program (ARP ESSER), as well as previous rounds of ESSER funds, to implement these recommendations and ensure students receive the support they need. Through ARP ESSER alone, state and local education leaders have $122 billion available to them to ensure the mental health, social, emotional and academic needs of our students are met.

"Our efforts as educators must go beyond literacy, math, history, science, and other core subjects to include helping students to build the social, emotional, and behavioral skills they will need to fully access and participate in learning and make the most of their potential and future opportunities," said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. "Amid the pandemic, we know that our students have experienced so much. We can't unlock students' potential unless we also address the needs they bring with them to the classroom each day. As educators, it's our responsibility to ensure that we are helping to provide students with a strong social and emotional foundation so that they also can excel academically."

More than 18 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, it is particularly important to acknowledge the pandemic's impact on mental health at home and around the world, to present an opportunity for meaningful conversations about mental health, and to celebrate schools and other institutions that have found new and promising ways to provide mental health services to students. This document is part of the Return to School Roadmap, which stresses the importance of supporting students' social, emotional and mental health to create a strong foundation for students' academic success. 

>> Click Here to Learn More & Access Prior Released ED COVID-19 Handbooks!

Spotlight on Supporting Mental Health in Washington State: Moving Forward with Aligning and Implementing
(Read more about what the Northwest MHTTC is doing in collaboration with other partners on Page 39)

The University of Washington SMART Center, as part of the Northwest Mental Health Technology Transfer Center, the Northwest PBIS Network, Idaho’s Project AWARE, Washington’s State Education Agency, the Association of Washington School Principals, and the National Center on PBIS are working together to install and improve the implementation of evidence-based mental health systems and practices across the region.

Spotlight Preview:

Schools are the most common setting in which children and adolescents receive mental health services and supports. Shifting to a more integrated and effective approach to providing social-emotional, and behavioral support requires making changes to many of the standard approaches to prevention and intervention in schools. In the Northwest, the states of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington along with several organizations are streamlining and coordinating efforts to enable school aged students to access and benefit from a continuum of mental health support in the school environment, otherwise known as the Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF).

>> Click Here to View Resource!


Citation: U.S. Department of Education releases New Resource on supporting child and student social, emotional, behavioral and mental health during COVID-19 ERA. U.S. Department of Education Releases New Resource on Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health during COVID-19 Era | U.S. Department of Education. (2021, October 19). Retrieved October 29, 2021, from https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-releases-new-resource-supporting-child-and-student-social-emotional-behavioral-and-mental-health-during-covid-19-era.

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

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