To increase the number of students receiving mental health services, Connecticut schools have engaged community mental health providers in delivering school-based care. The engagement and support of community mental health providers has led to an increase in students receiving school-based mental health services in all three participating SS/HS districts and in the state.
Due to a variety of factors, including logistical barriers, stigma, and poor past experiences with mental health systems, children and families often do not seek or follow through with mental health services in community settings such as outpatient mental health centers. To reduce some of the barriers to traditional community care, Connecticut school districts provided financial and technical assistance support to community mental health providers to allow them to provide services directly in the schools. For example, New Britain schools partnered with the Klingberg Family Centers to offer individual, group, and family mental health treatment in schools. They also leveraged a partnership with Central Connecticut State University to augment school mental health services with Marriage and Family Therapy and Psychology interns.