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Most Children Receive Mental Health Services in School

Approximately 20% of all children have some sort of mental health issue and only one third of those receive services.  Of those students who do receive mental health services, 70% get them in the school setting.[i] 

 “Schools have become the go-to resource for students and their families.” “We must embrace this responsibility and
work to provide the highest quality supports possible without taxing an already overwhelmed system.”

Michelle Myler, SS/HS Project Coordinator

The needs of students were what moved the New Hampshire Department of Education’s Office of Student Wellness to create the Multi-Tiered System of Supports for Behavioral Health and Wellness (MTSS-B). MTSS-B is a set of guiding principles used to ensure that students not only develop academically, but also in the areas of social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health.

A key component to the success of MTSS-B is the partnership between local school districts and the Community Mental Health Center (CMHC) serving that area. In this model, school counselors, nurses, and guidance counselors work alongside clinicians and counselors from CMHC to leverage expertise and coordinate care.

Through a three-tiered system, schools implementing MTSS-B are able to provide the level of supports and/or services that are appropriate for each student. Tier 1 focuses on the entire student body and teaching basic social and emotional skills. Within this tier, cultural norms are set for the school or district and a sense of personal responsibility to the community is developed. Tier 2 serves students at risk. It provides more intensive, group services and seeks to prevent negative outcomes related to behavioral health. Tier 3 provides direct services and counseling to those students diagnosed with a mental illness.

“School is where children spend much of their day, and school success is vital to a child’s trajectory into adult life,” said Chris Cummings, former Children’s Director at Riverbend Community Mental Health Center. “We’ll be a very real and present part of the school’s culture, with our clinicians engaged at all levels, and more accessible and available to everyone.”

[i] Advancing Education Effectiveness: Interconnecting School Mental Health and School-wide Positive Behavior Support Edited by Susan Barrett, Lucille Eber, & Mark Weist

Behavioral Health/Mental Health
Connecting Schools and Communities
Integration of Behavioral Health into Primary Care
System Change
Vulnerable Populations