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School Mental Health


School Mental Health Capacity Building Partnership Oregon Stakeholder Discussion Groups A project funded through a Cooperative Agreement with the – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: School Mental Health

  • School Mental Health
  • Capacity Building Partnership
  • Oregon Stakeholder Discussion Groups

A project funded through a Cooperative Agreement
with the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, Division of Adolescent and School
Health (DASH)
Promoting School Mental Health through Capacity
Building to State and Local Education Agencies
(SEAs and LEAs)
Goal 1 Strengthening Intersections
  • Strengthen collaborative national efforts to
    improve mental health services in schools by
    increasing intersections between mental health,
    health, and schools.

Goal 2 Fact finding and Organizing
  • Develop, organize, and synthesize key documents
    and resources related to best practices for SEA
    and LEA improvement and expansion of effective
    SMH services.

Goal 3 Capacity Building
  • Using fact finding knowledge, materials, and
    resources developed in Goals 1 2
  • Provide technical assistance, resources, and
    professional development to aid SEAs and LEAs in
    implementing effective school mental health

Statewide Stakeholder Discussion Groups PURPOSE
  • To gain a deeper understanding of how school
    mental health works at the state and local level
  • Through these groups, we learned about successes,
    challenges, and lessons learned related to
    school mental health policies, programs, and

Statewide Stakeholder Discussion Groups PROCESS
  • Four early adopter states selected
  • Selection criteria
  • Shared mental health/education/family agenda
  • Strong state level collaboration
  • Vision of how to integrate health into school
    mental health agenda
  • Four discussion groups per state
  • Three with state and local leaders in education,
    family advocacy, health, and mental health
  • One youth only discussion group

SBHCs Early Adopter States
2006 Maryland February 2007 Missouri May
2007 Oregon August 2007
Oregon Stakeholder Discussion Groups
Adult Discussion Groups Process
  • August 14th and 15th, 2007
  • Three 2-hour discussion groups
  • Two school mental health stakeholder groups
    (Salem, Portland)
  • One Coordinated School Health Group (Monmouth)
  • 32 total participants
  • Education 12
  • Health 9
  • Mental Health/Social Services 7
  • Youth development 2
  • Family members/advocates 1
  • Business 1

  • Responses to Questions
  • Themes
  • Key Quotations
  • Challenges
  • Opportunities

Participant awareness of Oregons vision or
agenda for school mental health
  • The school mental health vision varies greatly,
    reflecting how mental health services in Oregon
    vary greatly by county.
  • While the Childrens System Change Initiative
    reflects a vision of mental health for Oregons
    youth, it has not been fully implemented, and it
    is not inclusive of all youth.

What would make it a stronger agenda?
  • Additional, blended funding
  • Statewide summit of legislators and policymakers
  • Financial incentives to schools to implement
    school mental health
  • Wraparound services
  • Increased family involvement incentives to work
    with families
  • Public relations/social marketing campaign
  • Efforts to de-stigmatize and demystify mental

What would make it a stronger agenda? (cont.)
  • Legislation supporting both public health and
    mental health
  • Educating teachers about early identification and
  • Full-time mental health provider in each school
  • State guidelines for mental health in
    schools/school-based health centers
  • Mechanisms for prioritization
  • Research/Data
  • More school-based health centers
  • More school nurses

What would make it a stronger agenda? (cont.)
  • Partnership between schools and community
    resources to reduce burden on schools
  • Comprehensive models that include positive
    behavior support and integrate academic support
  • Enhanced focus on prevention
  • Mental health training in higher education
    curriculum for educators
  • Coordination of efforts
  • Communication systems for sharing information
  • More consideration of diverse cultures
  • State funding

Major Themes
  • Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) between schools
    and community providers promote mental health
    services in schools, but are often challenged by
    issues of FERPA/HIPAA.
  • Schools need to be informed about issues of
    legality related to mental health services, in
    order to reduce the fear associated with
    addressing these issues.

Major Themes (cont.)
  • Efforts to bridge the gap between educators and
    mental health providers, including role
    clarification and interdisciplinary training, is
    critical to breaking down communication barriers.
  • Family organization and engagement needs to be
    strengthened in Oregon which includes schools
    adopting a family-centered approach.

Major Themes (cont.)
  • There is a need for a public relations campaign
    to advance the school mental health agenda.
  • All schools would benefit from at least one
    full-time, school-based mental health provider.
  • Coordination of school and community-based mental
    health efforts is strengthened by the presence of
    a case manager or counselor familiar with the
    array of available services, as well as by the
    presence of behavioral teams involving multiple

  • Public health and mental health in Oregon are not
    well coordinated at the state level, and the
    coordination varies greatly across regions.
  • School-based health centers have been part of
    Oregons school mental health agenda, but have
    not systematically included mental health and
    have not always been promoted due to lack of
    funding and/or misconceptions about their purpose.

Challenges (cont.)
  • Oregons school mental health efforts often
    exclude youth who do not receive Medicaid.
  • There is significant difficulty recruiting and
    hiring a workforce that represents the community.

Challenges (cont.)
  • Understanding what is happening in Oregon related
    to school mental health is challenging, and
    requires identifying the right people.
  • Despite several legislative and other efforts to
    advance evidence-based practices, there is not
    consensus on the definition of evidence-based
    practices and there is a lack of accountability
    and monitoring of the use of evidence-based

  • Oregons leadership in the Wraparound framework
    presents a critical opportunity to advance school
    mental health efforts, and serves as a model for
    successful youth and family engagement.
  • A statewide summit of stakeholders, legislators,
    and policymakers would inform the decision-makers
    about best practices and resource allocation
    related to school mental health.

Opportunities (cont.)
  • Increased partnerships between schools, families,
    and communities would strengthen school mental
    health efforts and reduce the burden on schools.
  • Youth engagement models, including a new model
    for action research could be applied to the
    school mental health field.
  • School-based health centers, funded through
    public health, reflect a model of coordinating
    between health and mental health.

Opportunities (cont.)
  • Oregon has utilized several strategies to
    successfully meet the needs of students from
    diverse cultural backgrounds, including
  • hiring bilingual staff
  • using interpreters
  • conducting in-home parent and family mental
    health training to families with Limited English
  • providing mental health training to front-line
    school staff
  • utilizing family resource centers and a
    home-school contact person.
  • Oregons Positive Behavioral Supports and
    Response to Intervention efforts may be linked to
    offer a comprehensive model of school mental

Oregon Youth Discussion Groups
Youth Discussion Groups Purpose
  • To identify, from a youth perspective, the most
    effective strategies for providing mental health
    services in schools and for engaging youth in the
    development of school mental health policies and

Youth Discussion Group Method
  • August 13, 2007
  • One 1.5-hour discussion group
  • Six students Grades 9-12 four schools
  • Four students identified as having emotional
  • Recruited from Oregon Family Support Network and
    Columbia River Wrap Around

Youth Discussion Groups Process
  • How can adults at your school make all students
    feel supported both in school as well as other
    areas of their life?
  • What can schools do to better understand the
    different cultures or backgrounds a student comes
  • How well do you think that adults in your school
    respond to students with mental health problems?

Youth Discussion Groups Major Themes
  • School mental health prevention/promotion
  • Schools can improve the physical environment by
    making the school more colorful and the classroom
    more comfortable.
  • Adults should not hold biases or judge youth.
  • Teachers should engage students more in
  • Teachers who speak more openly with students and
    ask questions seem to have a better understanding
    of cultures.

Youth Discussion Groups Major Themes
  • Staff Development
  • Adults have a better understanding of physical
    health problems than of mental health problems.
  • Teachers should try to understand students with
    mental health problems.
  • Adults should make sure that students with mental
    health problems dont get picked on.
  • Teachers should receive mental health training
    and have access to a mental health consultant.

Youth Discussion Groups Major Themes
  • Mental Health Services
  • Barriers to accessing counseling services
  • not believing it is confidential
  • lack of availability of a professional
  • perception that counselors are for academic (not
    mental health) problems.
  • Students would prefer to go to someone they trust
    to talk about a problem.
  • Keeping confidentiality is important unless
  • a student gives specific permission to tell
    someone, or
  • if student makes a direct threat to someones
    life or their own life
  • .

Youth Discussion Groups Major Themes
  • Benefits of extracurricular activities include
  • Feeling good about helping others
  • They have improved self esteem
  • Gaining a new perspective
  • Leadership Opportunities
  • Students are more likely to participate in adult
    led activities when
  • there are incentives (e.g. food, money,
  • interactive activities
  • when their friends are participating

  • Laura Hurwitz
  • Director, School Mental Health Programs
  • 202-638-5872, x205
  • 1-888-286-8727 - toll free