Change is the Constant: Navigating Staff Turnover in School Mental Health Programs

Session overview

How do we make sure the programs in place to support student wellness are maintained when schools are understaffed or staffing keeps changing? Our goal is to ensure that school mental health supports remain available to students now and long term. This learning forum is dedicated to facing one of the common challenges in this work: the dynamic nature of the staff and leadership in place to implement programs. We can predict the unpredictable and plan for it.  In this virtual learning session, you will learn to sustain morale and momentum by preparing for staff changes with effective practices for knowledge, skill, and responsibility transfers.


Intended Audience

This session is designed for local education agencies/school districts engaged in school mental health initiatives that are experiencing turnover, gaps, or transition in program staff and/or leadership. It is ideal for those with a role in planning for the longevity of school mental health services through implementation procedures. The information will also be relevant to state education agency teams seeking strategies for sustainability planning and implementation.


Learning Objectives

Participants who join this session will be able to:

  1. Approach program staffing as a fluid and flexible element of a school mental health initiative.
  2. Prepare transition planning and procedures to ensure knowledge transfer and communication about core program components.
  3. Leverage effective practices implemented by peers who are effectively navigating staff turnover.




Christina Borbely PhD [“borbay”], is a developmental psychologist (Columbia University, 2004) in Aptos, CA. She is coordinator of professional development for Santa Cruz County California Behavioral Health Services and leads her own consulting firm specialized in translating research science into developmentally relevant and culturally competent practices. She strives to support thriving youth in healthy families within safe communities based on connecting evidence of what works to the people and systems serving them (e.g., teachers, social workers, administrators, or volunteers). 

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