Mental Health Resources

Here you will find general resources for improving school mental health policies and programs, as well as information and tools for specific topics: crisis response, minor consent, suicide prevention, school discipline, trauma, school climate, and social-emotional learning.

Crisis Response | Trauma-Informed Services | Minor Consent
School Discipline/Climate Suicide Prevention

General Resources

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.

School-Based Health Alliance: School Mental Health Modules

The National School-Based Health Alliance provides 4 downloadable modules for integrating mental health services into your school or school-based health center: School Mental Health Overview and Fundamentals; Quality Assessment and Improvement; Marketing School Mental Health; and System Level Planning

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 Planning and Evaluation Template (MHPET)

The Mental Health Planning and Evaluation Template (MHPET), created by the national School-Based Health Alliance, is a web-based tool for quality assessment and improvement (QAI) in school mental health programs. The template is available for free, but you will need to register with the School-Based Health Alliance to be able to access it.

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. You can learn about and apply to attend upcoming free EBL trainings here.

TeenScreen® Program: Mental Health Check-Ups for Youth

The TeenScreen National Center supports communities, primary care providers, and schools in implementing mental health screening programs. You can learn more about starting a school-based screening program here.

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. Their webpage includes infographics highlighting some of the major findings.

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.

Trauma-Informed Services

Healing the Hurt: Trauma-Informed Approaches to the Health of Boys and Men of Color

This brief provides an overview of the research on trauma, its disproportionate prevalence among boys and men of color, and its impact on a wide variety of short- and long-term outcomes. It also describes what is meant by a trauma-informed approach and suggests specific ways in which organizations can ensure that they can better meet their clients needs through trauma-informed services.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) provides information on the wide variety of types of trauma, as well as resources and tools for diverse audiences, including educators and health care professionals.

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Trauma-Sensitive Schools Toolkit

This comprehensive resource includes a trauma-sensitive schools assessment and checklist; sample teacher in-service presentation; and webcasts, videos and online articles to learn more about trauma.

The Heart of Learning & Teaching: Compassion, Resiliency, & Academic Success

A compassionate teaching and trauma-informed schools guide developed by partners Washington State with specific strategies for teachers and classrooms.

Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools

The Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) program is a school-based, group and individual intervention. It is designed to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and behavioral problems, and to improve functioning, grades and attendance, peer and parent support, and coping skills. The CBITS website includes a wide variety of free resources, including everything you need to implement CBITS in your school.

The Sanctuary Model

The Sanctuary Model is a theory-based, evidence-supported model that provides a clear and structured approach to creating an organizational culture that facilitates the delivery of trauma-informed services. The Sanctuary Model offers resources and trainings that can be applied in a wide variety of settings, including health clinics and schools.

Minor Consent for Mental Health Services

Minor Consent Mental Health Rights in California (SB 543)

Senate Bill 543, signed by the Governor in October 2010, created a new minor consent mental health right in California. This table describes Health and Safety Code 124260, the minor consent law created by SB 543, and highlights the differences between Health and Safety 124260 and Family Code 6924, the existing minor consent mental health statute. Note that “Section 124260 of the Health and Safety Code shall not apply to the receipt of benefits under the Medi-Cal program,” meaning that if the minor’s mental health services are covered under EPSDT, the provider must get parent/guardian consent. Visit the National Center for Youth Law‘s website to learn more.

School Discipline/School Climate

Fix School Discipline

A project of the Public Counsel, is a comprehensive resource for schools about how to eliminate harsh, push-out discipline practices and put in place solutions that work for all students. Resources include step-by-step tools to help you implement or advocate for supportive, inclusive discipline policies that hold students accountable and improve school climate and safety for all members of the school community.

Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports California Technical Assistance Center

PBIS refers to a systems change process for an entire school or district focused on addressing student behavioral challenges. It is an operational framework for enhancing, adopting, and implementing a continuum of evidence-based practices within a multi-tiered system of support for achieving important learning and social outcomes for all students. It ensures all students have access to the most effective and efficient instructional and behavioral practices available.

Out-of-School Suspension and Expulsion Policy Statement

This policy statement, from the American Academy of Pediatrics, makes recommendations on the administration of suspension and expulsion, and describes the role of pediatric providers in providing social, emotional, and mental health support. It also highlights aspects of expulsion and suspension that may jeopardize children’s health and safety, such as academic deterioration, student alienation, delinquency, crime, and substance abuse problems.

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.