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School-Based Health Centers

School-Based Mental Health Program: Eliminating Barriers to Academic Achievement

The overall mission of the School Mental Health (SMH) program is to promote healthy social, emotional, and behavioral development of students. Barriers to learning must be addressed so that the general well-being of students, families and school staff can be enhanced in collaboration with other comprehensive student support and services.

The School Mental Health programs support the emotional health and academic growth of all students through: 
  • A comprehensive array of effective and efficient services and supports which is integrated throughout the levels of student supports;
  • Incorporates a three-tiered approach when assessing school mental health needs through Universal, Selective, and Targeted interventions
  • Accessibility to behavioral and mental health services and programs;
  • Utilization of primarily DOE personnel to provide necessary supports and services; and
  • Collaborative relationships that engage school, family and community.
Models of Service:

On-Site Mental Health Clinics
licensed mental health clinics offers individual, groups, and family treatment; and crisis interventions on school campus.
• School Response Team (SRT) 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
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:
http://nyc.kognito.com .
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
www.nyc.gov/Teen .
School Mental Health Consultant Program: Provides school mental health consultation and technical assistance to NYC Public Schools.

        o Assess long term MH service needs at each school

        o Triage and referral services immediately for principals and administrators at each school. 

        o Connect high risk students to community based services.

Community Schools - collaborate with school administration and Lead Community School CBOs to enhance mental health interventions and provide on-going technical assistance to schools on the development and implementation of mental health services, program development and school priorities using a three tiered model of Universal, Selective, and Indicated interventions. 
• High Suspension Schools - implementing on-site mental health services by assisting High Suspension schools in assessing the need for mental health services and related interventions using a tiered model of Universal, Selective, and Indicated. Collaborating with school administration and providers to contract for mental health services and providing on-going technical assistance to schools on development and use of mental health needs, program development and priorities.   

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

Important Resources:

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 Article 31 School Based Mental Health Clinics as of 9/6/16

The DOE School-Based Mental Health & Behavioral Services

The Citywide Mental Health Youth Resource Flyer , also available in Spanish

LifeNet website
: Free and confidential Mental Health Information and Referral site

At Risk Kognito

Children's Mobile Crisis Team
CMCT is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide rapid responses and crisis management for children and adolescents in active crisis situations

Family Resource Centers: Provide individual and group-based family support services to parents/caregivers of children and youth (birth- age 24) identified as having or at risk for developing emotional, behavioral, or mental health challenges using a family and youth peer model.

Hite Site (Health Information Tool for Empowerment): offers extensive citywide search for mental health, social services, and healthcare agencies

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.