School-Based Health Centers
School-Based Mental Health Program: Eliminating Barriers to Academic Achievement
Project HOPE Resources
The Project HOPE Counseling Program offers crisis services to schools, specifically those most affected by Hurricane Sandy. Although schools demonstrated tremendous resilience and offered safe havens to many students affected by Hurricane Sandy, emotional distress caused by this kind of crisis is complicated, can be long-ranging and may still be developing. As the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaches, Project HOPE offers services to assist schools with planning through February 2014. Project Hope resources are now available on the DOE Portal. (Look at side column and crisis resource section). The DOE School-Based Mental Health Program offers a variety of services targeting those students who have emotional and behavioral difficulties in general education. The program oversees collaborations and initiatives with mental health agencies, hospitals, and youth serving non-profits that treat, prevent and educate students and their families dealing with mental health issues that impede academic achievement.
Models of Service:
• On-Site Mental Health Programs – offers individual treatment, groups, family counseling, and crisis interventions on school campus.
• Mobile Response Team (MRT) Program – offers assessments, consultations, classroom observations, crisis interventions, professional development for teachers, parent trainings, and referrals for treatment in the community.
• STARS (Screening the At-Risk Student) – implemented by nurses in middle schools. Offer suicide and depression screenings and referrals for further psychological assessments as needed.
• At Risk for High & Middle School Teacher Training – Free web based online training program aims to teach educators and others that work in both middle and high school buildings how to indentify, approach, and refer students who show signs of psychological distress. Accessing the course is easy! If you work in a High School Go to:
• Early Recognition and Screening Program - Community mental health providers offer screenings school-wide for underlining emotional and behavioral issues. With parental consent, student can be referred for further assessment and offered treatment if indicated.
• Presentations – Presentations and trainings on a wide variety of emotional topics relevant to youth. Resources presentation for staff and families.
• NYC TEEN Website – this teen friendly website engages teens dealing with depression, drugs and violence, and encourages them to seek help. Go to
What is a School-Based Mental Health Program?
A School-Based Mental Health Program (SBMH) is like a mental health office inside a school. SBMH offer a wide range of full, comprehensive mental health services in the school and have been providing on-site mental health services to Department of Education students for over 20 years. There are over 200 SBMH programs serving NYC schools in all five boroughs. All services are private and kept confidential from the school staff.
Why Have Mental Health Programs in Schools?
• Keeps issues from affecting emotional, academic, or physical development
• Provides relief from symptoms earlier rather than later
• Can prevent long-term problems
• Improves academic performance and personal relationships with family and friends
What Do School Mental Health Programs Offer My Child?
• Identification: Children with behavioral and emotional health needs
• Assessment: Assessments, Interviews and Evidence Based Evaluations
• Intervention: Individual, Group, Family Therapies; and Psychiatric Evaluations
• Consultation: With parents, teachers and providing crisis interventions
• Facilitation: Hospitalizations and Specialty Care
• Training: Parent and Teacher trainings on mental health issues
Why do School-Based Mental Health Programs Work?
• Interventions are sensitive to students’ and family culture
• Easy access for mental health services in communities where services are scarce
• Removes the stigma for mental health services
• Having programs on site allows teachers to spend more time teaching
• Fewer discipline problems school-wide and distraction from class work
How Can I Get My Child Services?
• Students are referred either by Parent, Teacher or Student
• A Consent Form signed by parent is needed to begin services
• Individual student records are kept confidential and is not shared with school staff
• Programs operate school hours and often beyond for family convenience
• 24 hour hotline to handle problems outside of school hours
• Staff are typically licensed social worker, psychologist and psychiatrist
Do I Need To Pay?
• Programs do not bill parents or students for care
• Parents provide insurance information and program bills them directly
• If not insured, SBMH may be able to help family obtain public health insurance
• Referrals to other community mental health programs can be made, if needed
Mental Health Training for High and Middle School Staff: At Risk for High and Middle School Educators
As educators, you can play a key role in identifying youth with emotional and behavioral problems and linking them to appropriate services. You are encouraged to take advantage of a free, one-hour online mental health training program: At Risk for High and Middle School Educators. This training helps teachers and school personnel (1) identify students exhibiting signs of psychological distress, including anxiety, depression, and suicide; (2) approach students to discuss their concern; and (3) use motivational interviewing techniques to help connect students to mental health supports in the school. The course is web-based and accessible from any computer with internet access, and comes with a certificate of completion. Access the course page here.
Listing of School-Based Mental Health Clinics
(as of November 20, 2013)
The DOE School-Based Mental Health & Behavioral Services Brochure
The Citywide Mental Health Youth Resource Flyer , also available in Spanish
Free and confidential Mental Health Information and Referral site
(Health Information Tool for Empowerment): offers extensive citywide search for mental health, social services, and healthcare agencies
: Power Point presentation from the School Mental Health Symposium 11/19/13
Preventing Suicide: A Tool Kit for High School: Materials to help high schools design and implement strategies to prevent suicide and promote behavioral health among their students.