Funding School-Based Mental Health

Successful partnerships linking students to mental health services can be financed through a variety of local, state, and federal funding streams. Included here are several resources that provide funding strategies to support collaborations that link students to mental health services.

Principles for Funding School Mental Health

  • Funding can be used for various school-based services; but there are strategic ways to use funding to support a comprehensive system.
  • Schools shouldn’t feel like they have to create services on their own. Schools, counties, and community providers should work together.
  • School mental health services meet the educational and health care needs of students.
  • Everyone has mental health needs. The goal is to sustain services in all three tiers for a comprehensive school-based mental health.

Funding Guides for School Mental Health

Sustaining & Growing Behavioral Health Services at School-Based Health Centers

This guide provides SBHCs run by FQHCs in California tools to maximize the reimbursement to which they are entitled in providing critically needed mental health care to eligible students. It is for use by FQHCs that operate or plan to operate SBHCs in California. Download the guide. Watch a recording of our 2021 conference workshop on billing advice.

Public Funding for School Mental Health Programs

Update coming January 2022! There are many different ways that schools can knit together resources to address the mental health needs of students. Make public funding work for you and maximize your return on investment in mental health with the strategies presented in this toolkit.

Connecting Students to Mental Health Services

Our guide explores how seven counties are working collaboratively to provide school-linked mental health services, share financial resources to pay for these services, and address local issues such as truancy or recidivism by increasing access to mental health services for students.

School Mental Health Primer for Medi-Cal Managed Plans

This guide from the California Children’s Trust and the National Center for Youth Law gives Medi-Cal managed care plans an overview of school-based mental health, the education system and partners, and highlights the role that SBHCs play in delivering mental health care.

Practical Guide for Financing Social, Emotional, and Mental Health in Schools

From the California Children’s Trust and Breaking Barriers, this guide provides five models for school district leaders interested in exploring partnerships and accessing Medi-Cal to meet the social, emotional, and mental health needs of students in schools.