Section 9: Data Collection & Outcomes

Evaluations come in many forms, ranging from those run by a team of external evaluators to researchers who collect and analyze data over a period of several years to simple data collection efforts by school mental health staff and partners. The scope of your evaluation will depend on the resources you have available, the questions you want to answer, the demands of your funders, and competing priorities.

Because resources are limited, schools implementing school mental health programs will eventually want to know that the school mental health investment is a good value.

The most important thing to remember as you develop your evaluation plan is that you need to create a plan that is realistic for your team. You don’t have to measure everything! In fact, without a sufficient budget and staff capacity you are likely to get overwhelmed if you try to document everything. Instead, it is best to check in with your stakeholders and prioritize what matters most to them and make sure that staff are properly trained in order to effectively capture the data identified.

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