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Michigan’s Increase in Mental Health Supports

The number of students receiving school-based mental health services each year has increased to over 1,800 in 2015-16, which is 16% of all students across the three SS/HS LEAs in Michigan. SS/HS created sustainable collaborations with community partners and strengthened the infrastructure to facilitate student access to mental health services, track referrals, provide trainings and workshops for staff and families, and streamline data collection and sharing. For example, in Saginaw Public School District, more than 550 staff, family, and community partners have been trained in restorative practices, cultural competency, and trauma-informed care.           

Across all three LEAs, mental health staff members from 70 schools and community partners collaborated during monthly cross-systems team meetings for community building and developed the infrastructure to effectively work with students and families. For example, in the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan, during times when a coordinated crisis response was needed, 21 community mental health partners provided mental health services to over 1,000 students in 2015-16. Building relationships with community partners and leveraging resources has been critical for students to receive these services. In addition, utilization and customization of the School Mental Health Referral Pathways Toolkit, helped streamline referral processes and prioritize cultural proficiency to ensure the most effective supports were in place for disparity populations around mental health services within school districts in Michigan.

“As a result of SS/HS, we learned the differences in the roles of (school) social workers compared to community partners
in terms of mental health services, and the process for helping our students is much clearer. Before SS/HS,
the teachers and staff – and even some partners – assumed that all mental health professionals did the same thing in schools.”

-- Principal, Mumford High School

Behavioral Health/Mental Health
Connecting Schools and Communities
Evidence Based/Informed
Integration of Behavioral Health into Primary Care
Social and Emotional Well-Being
System Change