Mental Health Resources

General Resources

California School Mental Health Implementation Guide

This guide is intended to support local education agencies (LEAs) and county behavioral health departments (BHDs) as they seek to partner to deliver comprehensive, high-quality school mental health services. The goal of this resource is to create a library of helpful resources and organize tools around critical topics and challenges. The guide includes information about planning & partnerships, staffing, funding, coordination, and legal concerns. The guide is meant to provide specific, applicable resources to address the needs of partners to further the growth of school mental health partnerships.

Public Funding for School-Based Mental Health Programs

This guide is intended to identify and explain the public mental health funding streams in California that can support the full continuum of school-based mental health services. It should also help illustrate how schools can best leverage public mental health funding streams and community partnerships to maximize existing resources.

CSHA’s Connecting Students to Mental Health Services: Creative Collaborations, Funding, & Evidence-Based Practices

This toolkit – written in partnership with Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California – explores the ways in which 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.

Center for School Mental Health

This center at the University of Maryland provides user-friendly resources and information for diverse stakeholders interested in advancing school mental health within their own school, community, city, state, or nation. Resources include a summary of evidence-based practices, literature review of school mental health research and data points, and a report on linking school mental health with PBIS.

Regional K-12 Student Mental Health Initiative

This clearinghouse of resources and regional best practices is provided to assist California county offices of education, districts and schools to develop and implement effective programs and services that promote the mental health and wellness of students in grades K-8, with linkages to preschool and grades 9-12.

Behavioral Health: Adolescent Provider Toolkit

The Behavioral Health: Adolescent Provider Toolkit was created by the Adolescent Health Working Group (AHWG). Developed by and for health care providers, it addresses common adolescent mental health and substance use issues. It is available for free download; hard-copies can be ordered for $15. AHWG also offers  additional provider toolkits  on trauma and resilience, sexual health, general adolescent health and minor consent.

Mental Health Presentations for High School Students

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) California is a grass roots organization of families and individuals whose lives have been affected by serious mental illness. NAMI California has 71 local affiliates and represents 19,000 people to the California Legislature and Governor on mental illness issues. NAMI offers a free one-hour presentation for high school students on mental illness and recovery that includes a review of common mental illnesses, including their symptoms, and a personal testimony on recovery by a NAMI member. To schedule a presentation for your campus or school-based health center, contact Holly Davison via email.

Eliminating Barriers to Learning through the Early Identification of Student Mental Health Issues

The Eliminating Barriers to Learning (EBL) initiative is an innovative collaboration between the California Department of Education, Placer County Office of Education, and Kognito Interactive. Based on a training series developed by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), California’s EBL uses a train-the-trainer model. A school- or district-based team of educators attends an in-person workshop and then uses an online training simulation to develop the skills necessary to support their colleagues in better identifying and responding to student mental health needs.

Using Coordinated School Health to Promote Mental Health for All Students

This white paper, from the national School-Based Health Alliance (formerly the National Assembly for School-Based Health Centers), defines the scope of mental health services in schools, highlights the growing body of literature finding a connection between health, mental health, and academic success, and presents Coordinated School Health as a sustainable way to promote mental health.

An Annotated Bibliography of Research Literature

The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools provides a downloadable annotated bibliography of empirical studies from 2001 to 2013 that reviews the impact of school-connected behavioral and emotional interventions on student academic performance.

Crisis Response

A Practical Guide for Crisis Response in Our Schools

This guide, from the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, provides information and tools for effectively managing school-based crises. The guide can be ordered for $26.95, but select resources are available for free.

Resources for Dealing with Traumatic Events in Schools

The Center for School Mental Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine put together a list of resources that will help schools respond to a traumatic campus event.

School-Based PTSD Intervention

This article, describing a proven school-based intervention for reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is available for free through the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Coping With Grief After Community Violence

This Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) factsheet offers tips for coping with grief after community violence.

Tips for Talking With and Helping Children Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event

This factsheet from SAMHSA helps parents and teachers recognize common reactions children of different ages experience after a disaster or traumatic event. It also provides guidance for how to respond and when to seek additional support.

Suicide Prevention

Know the Signs

Know the Signs is a statewide suicide prevention social marketing campaign built on three key messages: Know the signs. Find the words. Reach out. This campaign is intended to educate Californians to recognize the warning signs of suicide, find the words to have a direct conversation with someone in crisis, and find professional help and resources.

Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) toolkit

SAMHSA provides a free resource, Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools, that assists high schools and school districts in designing and implementing strategies to prevent suicide and promote behavioral health. Includes tools to implement a multi-faceted suicide prevention program that responds to the needs and cultures of students.

LA County Youth Suicide Prevention Project

The Los Angeles County Youth Suicide Prevention Project provides school administrators, staff, parents, and students with up-to-date information about the prevention, intervention, and postvention of suicide among our youth. Their website offers a rich set of resources for providers, school staff, parents, and students.

Youth Suicide Prevention

This list of resources, compiled by the California Department of Education, provides school districts with youth suicide prevention resources, including the Youth Suicide Prevention School-Based Guide.