Section 10: Evaluation

Evaluation is important for quality improvement and sustainability in order to understand whether mental health services are designed to be suitable, accessible, and acceptable by the patient population and to ensure that such services remain viable. Program evaluation will also help quantify the extent to which goals and objectives are being met and measure the impact of services on outcomes.

When providing health and mental health services, it is important to bring a framework of Quality Assurance and Continuous Quality Improvement. Quality Assurance (QA) ensures that the services are meeting the goals and standards established. Quality Improvement asks what can be done to not only meet the goals and standards but to also exceed them. Providing screening for students is a key way to conduct QA & QI. See Section 6 for a discussion of school mental health screening and a list of tools.

There are many important reasons to collect data about student mental health services and student outcomes. In the current California environment, each entity involved in school mental health (e.g., teacher, school, school psychologist, specialty mental health provider) has its own regulatory and funding requirements regarding documentation, data collection and reporting, and the education and mental health sectors differ in what/how they collect this information and limited in what they can share.

The purpose of this chapter is to support schools and their partners in understanding student mental health needs, how well those are being addressed at an individual and aggregate level, sharing information in ways that are legally permitted and support students, and targeting improvements in services and systems.

Click a Section Below to Learn More