School Mental Health Resources


Trauma-Engaged Schools

Produced by Alaska Department of Education & Early Development

This framework was developed in response to requests from concerned Alaskans across the state. It is a collaborative project of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, First Alaskans Institute, Alaska Afterschool Network, Alaska Mental Health Board, Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Alaska Child Trauma Center, and Association of Alaska School Board’s Initiative for Community Engagement. More than 200 community members, school board members, school staff, counselors, nurses, and administrators throughout the state contributed input and feedback.

School Mental Health Resource and Training Center (New York)

In 2016, Governor Cuomo signed into law a bill that requires schools to include mental health instruction, including the multiple dimensions of mental health, to be taught as part of the required K-12 health education. To help schools prepare for implementation of the law, MHANYS partnered with the State Education Department and the NYS Office of Mental Health to form the New York State Mental Health Advisory Council.  The Advisory Council included various education and behavioral health stakeholders. The School Mental Health Resource and Training Center is committed to supporting the efforts of the Advisory Council, including the recommendations and guidance set forth by this group of dedicated and passionate stakeholders.

Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Resources Page

A wealth of resources on multi-tiered systems of support. 

Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF)

Midwest PBIS Network

The Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF) is a structure and process to integrate Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and School Mental Health within school systems. This page has a variety of resources, training materials, tools, and recorded webinars.

SWIFT Schools

Leading the nation in equity-based MTSS and inclusive education research and services, SWIFT is a national technical assistance center that builds whole system—state, district, school, and community—capacity to provide academic and behavioral support to improve outcomes for all students. The website provides lots of information and resources. 

Bounce Back

Bounce Back is a school-based group intervention for elementary students exposed to stressful and traumatic events. Bounce Back teaches students ways to cope with and recover from traumatic experiences, so they can get back to doing what they want to do and need to do.

University of Maryland Center for School Mental Health

The mission of the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) is to strengthen policies and programs in school mental health to improve learning and promote success for America's youth. Find resources, news, events and training through this website. 

Wisconsin School Mental Health Framework

The Wisconsin School Mental Health Framework provides guidance to build and strengthen a comprehensive school mental health system, focuses on pre-K-12 schooling,and links with the Systems of Care philosophy.


University of New Hampshire

RENEW (Rehabilitation for Empowerment, Natural Supports, Education, and Work) is a structured school-to-career transition planning and individualized wraparound process for youth with emotional and behavioral challenges. Includes a User's Portal.

National Wraparound Initiative 

Regional Research Institute, School of Social Work, Portland State University

Wraparound is a method of engaging with children and youth with the highest levels of mental health needs, and their families, so that they can live in their homes and communities and realize their dreams. Includes resources, videos, publications, events, a blog and newsletter. 

School Mental Health-Assist

School Mental Health Ontario

Working with Ontario school districts to support student mental health. This support is provided through evidence-based leadership and coordination, resources, and implementation coaching support.

Trauma Aware Schools Resources

Treatment and Services Adaptation Center

A wealth of resources promoting trauma-informed school systems that provide prevention and early intervention strategies to create supportive and nurturing school environments.


Supporting Students Experiencing Early Psychosis in Middle School and High School

Produced by SAMHSA/CMHS

3 out of every 100 Americans will experience psychosis in their lifetimes, usually beginning in adolescence or young adulthood. A substantial research base confirms the effectiveness of Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC), a particular approach to supporting youth and young adults, including middle school and high school students,who are experiencing psychosis. This approach emphasizes early interventions that focus on keeping students engaged in school and other activities. Evidence shows that CSC results in improved outcomes and helps individuals experiencing psychosis stay on their life courses. Schools can play an essential role in reducing the lag time between the emergence of psychosis and obtaining effective care. In this document, we present information to help educators recognize signs and symptoms of psychosis in students, and we suggest ways in which schools can help those students keep their lives on course and succeed in school.

Child Trauma Tool Kit for Educators

Produced by The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Provides school administrators, teachers, staff, and concerned parents with basic information about working with traumatized children in the school system.


Review Tool for School Policies, Protocols, Procedures & Documents: Examination through a Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) Lens

Adapted for use by schools from a similar document created by Elizabeth Hudson for the Department of Health Services

Webinars & Videos

How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime

TEDMED 2014: Nadine Burke Harris

Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect, and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on.

The Interconnected Systems Framework: Integrating Mental Health through Multi-Tiered Systems of Positive Behavior Support in Schools

Produced by Kansas Technical Assistance System Network (TASN)

This webinar will describe the Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF) for direct integration of mental health and other community providers through multi-tiered school-based teams to help design and deliver an expanded continuum of interventions from prevention through intensive interventions.

Rural Behavioral Health Webinars

Produced by Rural Behavioral Health

A number of webinars addressing behavioral health issues of young people in rural settings.


Trauma Informed Classrooms - A Technical Assistance Bulletin

By Isaiah B. Pickens, Ph.D. and Nicole Tschopp, LCSW-C for School-Justice Partnership National Resource Center and The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges® (NCJFCJ)

The impact of students’ life experiences on their behavior has garnered increasing attention as schools strive to develop more supportive academic environments that help youths manage stress and address the needs of at-risk youths to facilitate continued academic engagement.1,2 Few events outside the classroom have as profound an impact on multiple domains of student development as traumatic life experiences.

The aim of a trauma-informed classroom is to infuse an understanding of the impact of trauma and adverse life experiences on students into the classroom culture and promote a physically and psychologically safe environment to foster student growth.

CASEL Program GuidesEffective Social and Emotional Learning Programs

The CASEL Guide provides a systematic framework for evaluating the quality of social and emotional programs and applies this framework to identify and rate well-designed, evidence-based SEL programs with potential for broad dissemination to schools across the United States. The Guide also shares best-practice guidelines for district and school teams on how to select and implement SEL programs. Finally, it offers recommendations for future priorities to advance SEL research and practice.


Basic FBA to BIP

Basic FBA to BIP is a set of professional development materials designed to build capacity in schools and school districts to support students with challenging behavior and the teachers and staff who work with them.

Research has shown that interventions developed from FBA are among the most effective for students with persistent behavioral concerns in schools. It has also found that, despite substantial evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of function-based intervention, many schools continue to rely on punitive and exclusionary discipline for students who require individualized behavior support.

The goals of Basic FBA to BIP are to: (1)Build School Capacity to design and implement effective individualized positive behavior support, (2) Improve School Systems through efficient teaming, data systems and processes to promote BIP development, implementation and evaluation, and (3) Create a Supportive School-wide Culture through common training across all staff.

Washington Social Emotional Learning Module

Produced by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

This module is designed to be a part of OSPI's professional learning constellation of topics and can be used by Educational Service Districts and LEAs for administering clock hours. Clock hours are not available to individuals who take the course on their own.

This module is designed for educators, administrators, school staff, others professionals and parents who interact with youth as a means to help them build and improve their understanding of social-emotional skills.

Trauma Sensitive Schools Online Professional Development

Produced by Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

This is a free, online, on-demand system consisting of three primary components. Through this system, learners will understand the prevalence and impact of toxic stress on youth and those who care for them. Additionally, participants will understand how to infuse the values of safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration, and empowerment into various aspects of their existing equitable multi-level system of support. This infusion is what we call the trauma-informed lens.


Mental Health: A Silent Epidemic

Produced by NPR

A graphic presentation about the epidemic of mental health in schools, offering a vision of how a collaborative team of educators, mental health professionals, medical professionals, and parents could watch for warning signs and help students suffering from mental health issues.


Policy and Practice for Trauma-Informed Schools

By Sharon A. Hoover, January 2019, National Association of State Boards of Education

Recognizing the effects of trauma besetting many of their students, many states, districts, and schools are revamping approaches to making schools physically and psychologically safer. Many of the steps to establish safer, more supportive schools are aligned with those needed to create trauma-responsive schools. State boards of education are well-positioned to caution school systems against focusing exclusively on “hardening” schools through physical safety and security measures and promoting a balanced approach, which embeds comprehensive, trauma-responsive mental health policies and practices in school safety planning.

Using Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports to Help Schools Become More Trauma Sensitive 

By Tony Evers, Ph.D., State Superintendent, Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction

Studies estimate that 3.3 – 10 million children in the United States witness violence in their own homes each year. There is growing research on the psychological, emotional and neurobiological impact of trauma and highly stressful events. This article discusses how some school districts have utilized the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) model to successfully support students with a wide range of both behavioral and emotional challenges.

Schooling and Children's Mental Health: Realigning Resources to Reduce Disparities and Advance Public Health

By Marc S. Atkins,1 Elise Cappella,2 Elisa S. Shernoff,3 Tara G. Mehta,1 and Erika L. Gustafson1, Published in Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, Volume 13, 2017

Schools have long been the primary setting for children's mental health services but have neither the resources nor the expertise to manage these services independently. The critical importance of school success for children's adjustment provides a strong rationale for schooling as an essential component of children's mental health services. In this article, the authors review evidence for how schooling and mental health coalesce, suggesting an alignment of school and community mental health resources that prioritizes successful schooling as a key mental health outcome.

Mental Health Interventions in Schools

By Mina Fazel, Kimberly Hoagwood, Sharon Stephan, and& Tamsin Ford, published by PubMed Central (PMC), US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

Mental health services embedded within school systems can create a continuum of integrative care that improves both mental health and educational attainment for children. To strengthen this continuum, and for optimum child development, a reconfiguration of education and mental health systems to aid the implementation of evidence-based practice might be needed.

Fostering SMART Partnerships to Develop an Effective Continuum of Behavioral Health Services and Supports in Schools

By Eric J. Bruns, Mylien T. Duong, Aaron R. Lyon, Michael D. Pullmann, Clayton R. Cook, Douglas Cheney, and Elizabeth McCauley, published by PubMed Central (PMC), US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

The education sector offers compelling opportunities to address the shortcomings of traditional mental health delivery systems and to prevent and treat youth mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) problems. Recognizing that social and emotional wellness is intrinsically related to academic success, schools are moving to adopt multi-tier frameworks based on the public health model that provide a continuum of services to all children, including services to address both academic and MEB problems. In this paper, we review the potential value of multi-tier frameworks in facilitating access to, and increasing the effectiveness of, mental health services in schools and review the empirical support for school-based mental health interventions by tier. 

Mental Health in Schools: A Hidden Crisis Affecting Millions of Students 

By Meg Anderson and Kavitha Cardoza for NPR Ed

Part One in an NPR Ed series on mental health in schools, this article explores the silent epidemic of mental health in schools and the low rate of treatment. The authors talked to educators, advocates, teachers and parents across the country and reported what they thought a comprehensive approach to mental health and education would look like.


Fact Sheet: Supporting Native American & Alaska Native Youth in School Settings

Produced by National American Indian and Alaska Native MHTTC

Created for the Northwest Region by the National American Indian and Alaska Native MHTTC, this fact sheet shares data on the number of Native youth and recognized tribes in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington and outlines cultural, communication, and classroom-based tips for supporting Native youth.

Transforming Schools: A Framework for Trauma-Engaged Practice in Alaska

A collaborative effort, with major contributors being: Sharon Fishel, Andrea “Akalleq” Sanders, Heather Coulehan, Konrad Frank, Patrick Sidmore, Thomas Azzarella, Ann Rausch, Josh Arvidson, and Lori Grassgreen

A growing body of research indicates that students’ life experiences deeply impact their academic, cognitive, and social-emotional development. An estimated two in three Alaskan children are exposed to traumatic experiences. Significant emotional stress and trauma during childhood affects Alaskans across racial, social, economic, and geofigure lines. This publication outlines how the Alaska Transforming Schools Framework can help Alaska schools and communities integrate trauma-engaged policies and practices that improve academic outcomes and well-being for all students. Improving student outcomes requires supporting the whole child, and understanding how trauma impacts a child’s ability to learn and thrive.

Responding to Trauma through Policies that Create Supportive Learning Environments

Developed by Child Trends, with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (grant 74616) as part of the Together for Healthy and Successful Schools Initiative

This brief introduces a Trauma-Informed Policy Framework to Create Supportive Learning Environments to help state officials create supportive learning environments that meet the needs of students with a history of traumatic experiences and ensure that all students succeed in school. A supportive learning environment is a school that provides a safe and positive school culture and climate, and attends to the physical, mental, social, emotional, and academic needs of all students.

Framework for Safe and Successful Schools

Produced collaboratively by National Association of School Psychologists

This joint statement provides a framework supported by educators for improving school safety and increasing access to mental health supports for children and youth. Efforts to improve school climate must be designed, funded, and implemented as a comprehensive school-wide approach that facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration and builds on a multitiered system of supports.

Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS)

eBook produced by the Rand Corporation

The Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) program is designed for use with groups of students who have experienced significant traumatic experiences and are suffering from related emotional or behavioral problems, particularly symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Delivered by school-based clinicians and taking into account cultural context, it uses a variety of proven cognitive-behavioral techniques in an early intervention approach, including psychoeducation about trauma and its consequences, relaxation training, learning to monitor stress or anxiety levels, recognizing maladaptive thinking, challenging unhelpful thoughts, social problem-solving, creating a trauma narrative and processing the traumatic event, and facing trauma-related anxieties rather than avoiding them. CBITS focuses primarily on three goals: decreasing current symptoms related to trauma exposure, building skills for handling stress and anxiety, and building peer and caregiver support.


To learn more about the Northwest MHTTC School Mental Health Supplement click HERE.

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