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. Listed here are several of the funding streams supporting collaborations that link students to mental health services and evidence-based therapies as needed. Click on the header to go to summaries for each funding stream that include a brief description, eligible child or adolescent populations, services that can be covered, including evidence-based practices, the funding process, and a link to additional information.

 Statewide Funding Streams

  1. Medi-Cal Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT)
  2. Mental Health Services Act (MHSA)
    a. MHSA-Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI)
    b. MHSA-Community Services and Support (CSS)
  3. AB 602: Special Education Local Planning Area (SELPA) Allocation
  4. AB 114: Educationally-Related Mental Health Services (ERMHS)
  5. Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)

Other special funding streams are highlighted in our toolkit – Connecting Students to Mental Health Services – which 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. You can download a PDF here.

Other Funding Guides for School Mental Health

Public Funding for School Mental Health Programs

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.

New for 2014: Federal Funding Guide for Social/Emotional Learning

The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools has developed this guide written by education and mental health policy experts highlighting federal education funding that could support school-based universal prevention and social emotional learning programs. Download the guide.

Developing a Business Plan for Sustaining School Mental Health Services

The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools has developed this resource for creating a financially sustainable school mental health program. It includes detailed case studies from across the country, as well as more general advice and recommendations for maximizing revenue to pay for student mental health services.