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References
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0-08: Partnerships with community service providers
1-01: Family involvement in health/safety programs, policies
2-07: Learning social skills
4-01: Student assistance teams at each site
4-06: Mental health problems: capacity to identify, refer, manage
4-09: Health-related case management
4-11: Crisis response team and plans
4-16: Students with frequent or extended absences
4-17: Behaviors with underlying health causes
4-25: Confidential health records
8-05: Employee assistance programs
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Center for Mental Health in Schools.
Resources, technical assistance, and continuing education on topics related to mental health in schools, with a focus on barriers to learning and promotion of healthy development.
Center for School Mental Health Assistance
Supports schools and communities in the development of programs and provides leadership and technical assistance to advance effective interdisciplinary school-based mental health programs.
Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning
National Association of School Psychologists
National Resource Center for Safe Schools
US Department of Education
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7-02 - Social services, mental health support
 

Ensure that social services and mental health support are available to all students and staff in the school setting and integrate this support into other school programs.

   
Rationale
 

Staff and students who function well socially and emotionally are apt to perform better academically. Part of schools' educational mission is to promote social and emotional functioning as well as academic achievement.

   
Commentary
 

Support for a student might include providing the student with additional counseling time with a member of the school health and safety team, steering a student to a staff-facilitated support group meeting with peers and assigning students whom are new to a school with a student ambassador or 'buddy'. When possible make services such as tutoring and mentoring available within the school setting. This may be provided by the school system or by trained persons invited into the school. Because there will always be a level of service that is unrealistic to provide within the school, having facilitated linkages to specialized services in the community is essential.

School programs and services that address mental health and psychosocial concerns are frequently not adequately integrated into schools' daily instructional efforts. Yet mental health promotion can be integrated successfully into many school programs. During daily classroom instruction and other school activities, students can be taught that both appropriate and inappropriate behaviors can stem from one's feelings. Once students understand this, many will be more likely to use introspection and subsequent verbalization strategies as substitutes to acting out or withdrawal. They may be more likely to seek help when they are troubled. Provide staff development so that staff members understand how to support students in this manner. Staff development in the area of developmental psychology will help staff form expectations of students that are appropriately adjusted to students' developmental stages. Integration can be improved by having members of the counseling, psychological, health, and social services staff communicate with classroom teachers and recess monitors, observe students during instruction and recreation, and assist staff with how they can respond to individual students and with the class as a whole. Such integration should be specified in the district's guiding principles (e.g., vision statement, policy statement, or school improvement plan). Staff need to recognize that they are role models for students at school.

   
REFERENCES
 

Adelman H. School counseling, psychological and social services. In Marx E, Wooley SF (eds.) Health is Academic: A Guide to Coordinated School Health Programs. New York NY: Teachers College Press 1988; 142-168.

Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development. Great Transitions: Preparing Adolescents for a New Century. New York, NY: Carnegie Corporation of New York; 1995.

Center for Mental Health in Schools. Mental Health in Schools: Guidelines, Models, Resources, and Policy Considerations. Los Angeles, CA: Center for Mental Health in Schools; 2001.

Consortium on the School-Based Promotion of Social Competence. The school-based promotion of social competence: theory, research, practice, and policy. In: Haggerty RJ, Sherrod LR, Garmezy N, Rutter M, eds. Stress, Risk, and Resilience in Children and Adolescents: Processes, Mechanisms, and Interventions. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press; 1994:268-316.

Drug Strategies. Making the Grade: A Guide to School Drug Prevention Programs. Washington, DC: Drug Strategies; 1999. .

Garmezy N. Resilience and vulnerability to adverse developmental outcomes associated with poverty. Am Behav Sci. 1991;34:416-430.

National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors and National Association of State Directors of Special Education. Mental Health, Schools and Families Working Together for All Children and Youth: Toward a Shared Agenda. Alexandria, VA; 2002.

Rosenblum L, DiCecco M, Taylor L, Adelman H. Upgrading school support programs through collaboration: resource coordinating teams. Social Work in Education. 1995;17:117-124.

Weissberg RP, Elias MJ. Enhancing young people's social competence and health behavior: an important challenge for educators, scientists, policymakers, and funders. Applied & Preventive Psychology. 1993;2:179-190.

Weist MD, Myers CP, Hastings E, Ghuman H, Han Y. Psychosocial functioning of youth receiving mental health services in the schools vs. community mental health centers. Comm Mental Hlth J. 1999;35:69-81.

Weist MD. Expanded school mental health services: A national movement in progress. In Ollendick TH, Prinz RJ eds. Advances in Clinical Child Psychology. Philadelphia, PA: Brunner/Mazel; 1997;19:319-352.

Weist MD. Toward a public mental health promotion and intervention system for youth. J Sch Hlth. 2001;71:101-104.

 
          
 
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