What is being done in other communities?

San Francisco Wellness Initiative

The San Francisco Wellness Initiative is a partnership between San Francisco Unified School District, the Department of Children, Youth and their Families, and the Department of Public Health.  [example: Balboa Teen Health Clinic]

Wellness Centers provide and link students to health care and prevention/early intervention programs and services. Provide students access to health education, reproductive health, sports physicals, mental health, and substance use services, as well as referral to primary healthcare providers. Students can self-refer or be referred by school staff or parents. Students are assessed, counseled, and referred to community service providers when appropriate.

The Student Intervention Team (SIT) works to positively impact behavior, student attendance and academic success by increasing access to quality school-based mental health services. Provides crisis support. The clinical staff is part of the triage team that provides crisis response and support to individual student crises that occur at the school sites.

Santa Clara County

Santa Clara County recently commited $600K to a youth mental-health center as an “important first step” toward providing critical early intervention and support services for youth and adolescents. It is being based on a national youth mental-health initiative in Australia called headspace, which provides early-intervention services — from physical and mental health to alcohol and other drugs, work and academic issues, to 12- to 25-year-olds at either a low cost or for free.

Chino Valley Unified School District Health Center

The goal of their program is to improve health outcomes by increasing student access to quality and comprehensive health care. Their program strives to enhance access to health care by bringing it directly to where students and families are and conducting active school-based outreach to connect students with care. They provide intensive support for the highest need students by being present on a daily basis to manage chronic disease, address behavioral health issues, deal with crises, and help students and families access resources. They provide support for the school district’s mission to improve academic achievement by working together to address absenteeism and addressing health concerns that may pose as barriers to learning. Learn more… http://www.chino.k12.ca.us/Page/1015


Headspace provides early intervention mental health services to 12-25 year olds.
4 core areas: mental health, physical health, work and study support and alcohol and other drug services.

eheadspace is an online and telephone service that supports young people and their families going through a tough time. Hold monthly online information sessions where youth join group chats to talk on different things like sleep issues, self harm, and helping out a friend.

School Support program that works with school communities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from suicide.

Learn more… http://headspace.org.au/

Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing

Committed to spearheading a new national vision for adolescent and young adult wellness and mental health support.  [1] Early Mental Health Support and Exceptional Clinical Care [2] Educational and Community Partnerships [3] Mental Health and Technology Program [4] Mental Health and Technology Program…

  • Early Support Services: Symptoms in response to anxiety, depression, and trauma are generally the first mental health problems for which young people need support. In developing a new early access and intervention model in the United States with the headspace program in Australia, Stanford will create clinical sites where young people ages 12-25 feel comfortable independently accessing early support and mental health guidance in safe and comfortable environments, a critical first step toward developing a national youth model for public mental health.
  • School Partnerships: Schools are where adolescents spend most of their time. School collaborations around wellness and mental health support ensure youth are able to benefit from their educational opportunities and thrive.
  • Suicide Prevention and Postvention Services: Provides leadership and clinical consultation to schools in addressing suicide response and prevention related issues.
  • Screening, Early Intervention and School-Based Health Services: Schools frequently lack on-site health and mental health services provided by licensed mental health and health professional from the community. Stanford is developing new approaches for linking teens with early mental health issues to on-site providers.

Learn more… http://med.stanford.edu/psychiatry/special-initiatives/youthwellbeing.html

UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools

To achieve mission of educating all students, schools must address barriers to learning and promote healthy development. As Carnegie Task Force on Education has stressed: School systems are not responsible for meeting every need of their students. But when the need directly affects learning, the school must meet the challenge.  

Other reasons given in advocating for mental health (MH) in schools:

  • to increase access to kids and their families for purposes of providing MH services
  • to increase availability of MH interventions (a) through expanded use of school resources (b) through co-locating community resources on school campuses (c) through combining school and community resources.
  • to encourage schools to adopt specific approaches (a) for treating specific individuals (b) for addressing problems through school-wide, “universal interventions” (c) for promoting healthy social and emotional development.
  • to improve specific processes and interventions related to MH in schools (e.g., improve systems for identifying and referring problems and for case management, enhancing “pre-referral” and early intervention programs, enhancing communication, coordination, and integration of services)

How are schools doing it currently?

  • Most schools have some programs to address a range of mental health and psychosocial concerns. Programs have been developed for purposes of early intervention, crisis intervention and prevention, treatment, and promotion of positive social and emotional development. But, the current norm related to mental health in schools is for a vast sea of advocates to compete for the same dwindling resources. This includes advocates representing different professional practitioner groups. Naturally, all such advocates want to advance their agenda. And, to do so, the temptation usually is to keep the agenda problem-focused and rather specific and narrow. This is counter-productive in that it perpetuates piecemeal and fragmented policies and practices. This continues current trends toward redundancy, competition, marginalization, and inadequate results. And, this means that only a relatively small percentage of students’ who need it are helped.

What’s what needs to change?

  • Systemic changes are needed… and must focus on ensuring that the available, sparse resources are used in ways that serve a much larger proportion of students. For this to happen, it is essential to end the fragmentation, marginalization, counter-productive competition, and costly redundancy.
    • The aim must be to weave school owned and community owned resources together to develop comprehensive, multifaceted, and integrated approaches.
    • The process must stress the importance of school-community-home collaborations.
    • And, the work must connect in major ways with the mission of schools and integrate with a restructured system of education support programs and services.
    • What can/should policy makers do to support schools in meeting the mental health needs of youth?

Learn more… http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/


  • http://www.schoolhealthcenters.org/
  • Adolescent-Friendly – http://cshca.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/CSHC_Adolescent-Friendly-Services_2013.pdf
  • Connecting students – http://cshca.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Connecting-Students-to-Mental-Health-Services_FINAL.pdf
  • Schoolwide Screenings – https://www.schoolhealthcenters.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/CSHA-Schoolwide-Screenings-Best-Practices-FINAL.pdf
  • Building School Bassed Center – http://www.schoolhealthcenters.org/about-us/toolkits-and-services/toolkits/
  • HIPPA or FERPA insurance – http://www.schoolhealthcenters.org/about-us/toolkits-and-services/toolkits/
  • Parent Engagement Toolkit – http://www.schoolhealthcenters.org/about-us/toolkits-and-services/toolkits/
  • FUNDING – https://www.schoolhealthcenters.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/CSHA-District-Financing-SBHCs.pdf

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