School Mental Health Workforce



Recruitment and Retention of School Mental Health Providers: Strategies and Key Resources (July 2021)
Executive Summary This report describes organizational and policy level strategies to improve recruitment and retention of school mental health providers. Additionally, it identifies resources developed by reputable organizations to facilitate implementation of these strategies. The report aims to provide useful guidance on developing and maintaining the school mental health workforce for organizations (e.g. schools, school districts, and community mental health agencies) and policy makers involved in school mental health efforts.



A Key Consideration When Staffing School-Based Mental Health Programs: Hire or Partner? (June 2021)

Local Education Agencies generally have two staffing approaches to provide school-based mental health services: (1) hire their own personnel, and (2) partner with community-based providers. This infographic outlines the advantages of each staffing approach in regard to administrative burden, access to services, and revenue.


Why Is the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) Medicaid Benefit Underutilized in Financing School-based Mental Health Services? (October 2020)

The infographic describes a pernicious cycle through which the mental health workforce shortage leads to underuse of the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit in Medicaid, and how, in turn, underuse of EPSDT may have implications for the mental health workforce shortage.



Building & Strengthening School Mental Health Referral Pathways to Support Student Mental Health (March 2024)

What level of need warrants referral to an outside provider? Does your team have a communication procedure for a student’s supported re-entry to campus? Are the school mental health providers you work with timely in their intake of students after they have received a referral? This session outlines the benefits of effective school mental health referral pathways. After reviewing best practices, you will be able to improve the consistency and efficiency with which your students are connected to appropriate levels of mental health support. Given the dynamic nature of schools and service agencies, establishing and maintaining good methods of contact and tracking requires regular attention. This session will also provide tools and templates to strengthen your referral pathways, and it will explain how these tools and templates can be adapted to the circumstances and culture of your school system.


Creating Cultures of Staff Wellness for Our Schools & Community Partners (2021-2023) (September 2023)

Part I: Back to School Wellness for School Staff (September 2023)

Feeling the Back to School blues? Stressed being on campus again? Interested in hacks that help make it better? This session is designed for all of you showing up to navigate the new year with students and colleagues. You have a lot to do. This is an opportunity to make sure YOU are on your own to-do list. Take care of you right now and this year using efficient tools and strategies. Building on self-care and collective care modules from earlier in this series, our session distills practices that anyone can use to boost resilience, buffer stress, and sustain wellness. This session identifies free resources that help ease the transition into the school year right now and support your well-being all year long.

Part II: Schoolwide Wellness: Staff, Parents, & Families (September 2023)

Are you feeling supported at work? Is there synergy amongst your staff? Is your school on the same page with your community partners and parents? With the importance of focusing on our students’ success, it’s easy to put off attending to ourselves and our colleagues. In this session, we review practical recommendations and resources that put a campus culture of resilience within reach. Creating a climate of respect and compassion and sustaining a culture that values adults as allies in the shared mission of the school does not have to be an after-thought. Together, we will identify practices that are practical, accessible, and impactful for your school community’s well-being.


Change is the Constant: Navigating Staff Turnover in School Mental Health Programs (February 2023)

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.


Adaptive Leadership: Mobilizing for Sustainability in Your School Community (May 2022)

Part I (May 2022)

Part II (May 2022)

How do we approach achieving longevity of our school mental health initiatives? We face changing resources, complex challenges, and many moving parts. Adaptive leadership offers a strategic framework for how to think about the issues, generate solutions, and implement lasting change. In this first of two sessions, we present core tenants and practices to guide your efforts for ongoing impact. In the second session, we review core tenants and share advanced practices for leading efforts for lasting school mental health impact.


Creating Cultures of Staff Wellness and Care for our Schools and Community Partners (July 2021)

Part I: In this Moment: Nudging Ourselves Towards Inner Calm and Connection

Part II: Listening to Scientists and our Grandmothers: Taking Care of a Human Being

Part III: Creating intentional Cultures of Wellness and Care Where Staff Can Thrive

In this three-part webinar series, we share information about conditions that support health, regulation, and healing when stress levels are high and enduring. We provide tools and strategies that can be used to prevent stress from becoming harmful, or to ensure you and your workplace bounce back from it when it gets you down. We begin with a focus on what you are experiencing right now and connect you to concrete ways to understand and change how you experience stress. Next in the series, we build your capacity to act individually and collectively to support the emotional health of self and colleagues during times of stress. Finally, we focus on how leadership establishes or strengthens cultures of care in order for all staff to thrive.


Workforce Wellness Strategies (July 2021)

Module 1: Quality Sleep

Module 2: Supportive Relationships

Module 3: Mindfulness

Module 4: Mental Health

Module 5: Access to Nature

Module 6: Physical Movement

Module 7: Nutrition

This seven-module video series complements the webinar series titled Creating Cultures of Staff Wellness and Care for our Schools and Community Partners. Each short video provides an overview of an evidence- based self-care strategy that is recommended to reduce stress hormones, enhance neuroplasticity, and reduce inflammation – all of which play important roles in counteracting the body's stress response and in improving health and well-being.


Recruitment and Retention of SMH Providers (December 2020)

Part I: An Overview (December 2020)

This webinar highlights the importance of sustaining the school mental health workforce for achieving effective, high-quality school mental health services. Dr. Mark Weist and Dr. Janet Cummings discuss recruitment and retention approaches that community mental health providers and local education agencies may want to consider implementing to support these goals, the current evidence concerning these approaches, and key resources to inform implementation efforts.

Part II: Innovative Strategies (December 2020)
This webinar explored the innovative approaches and experiences of leading provider organizations and their partners as they work to recruit and retain school mental health providers. Ms. Nikki Raymond (CEO, Georgia HOPE) discussed the diverse array of strategies her organization has employed and their impact, and Dr. Mark Sander (Director of School Mental Health, Hennepin County School System) discussed his experience coordinating 18 mental health agencies’ efforts as they develop and support the school mental health workforce.


The Southeast MHTTC created a comprehensive product catalogue of the resources and information they have published. Click here to view the full product catalogue. Additionally, these products are presented on the following pages of our website:


Key Resources

Comprehensive School Mental Health Systems: Foundations

Mental Health Services and Supports in Schools

Funding, Sustainability, and Impact

Diverse Populations, Equity, and Inclusion


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