Attending to School-based Mental Health

Overview

School-based Mental Health (SBMH) encompasses promoting wellness, social, emotional, and behavioral health, and coping skills necessary for meeting life's challenges. The mission and purpose of schools is learning and having comprehensive school-based mental health services contributes to those outcomes. Students whose mental wellness is supported have better outcomes in school and in life. SBMH services support a positive school climate and are available to all students in a multi-tiered system of support. SBMH Service Providers collaborate in multi-disciplinary teams and serve as resources to school staff and families.

Contacts

Tiana McCall
School Social Worker/SBMH Specialist
Phone: (801) 538-7647 | E-mail

Shaleece Oldroyd
Executive Secretary
Phone: (801) 538-7640 | E-mail

Resources

Utah State Board of Education (USBE)

Utah's School Behavioral Health Toolkit: Partnering to Address Mental and Emotional Wellness for School-aged Children (Coming soon)

School-based Mental Health Roles and Responsibilities in the Education Setting (Coming Soon)

Utah School Counseling Programs
USBE Prevention and At-Risk Programs

School-based Mental Health Requirements (Coming soon)

Utah State Board of Education (USBE) School-based Mental Health Contact Sheet

Frequently Asked Questions (Coming soon)

Grant Opportunities

Elementary School Counselor Grant Program
USBE Prevention and At-Risk Programs

Grow Your Own Teacher and School Counselor Pipeline Program Grant
USBE Prevention and At-Risk Programs

School-based Mental Health Qualified Grant Program (SBMHQGP)

School-based Mental Health Screening Grant (SBMHSG)

Community Partners

Mental Health Awareness Week

Back to School Toolkit
Mental Health America (MHA)

  • There are free resources included in this toolkit that may help you plan a Mental Wellness week or event.
Local Mental Health Authorities

Location Map
Utah Department of Human Services

Additional Resources

Supporting Student Mental Health: Resources to Prepare Educators
Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network

School-based Mental Health (SBMH) Screening Program

Definition

Mental health screener or screener means systematic tool or process;

  1. to identify if a student is experiencing, or is at risk of experiencing, issues related to the student’s mental health;
  2. for an early identification strategy to detect the onset of mental health conditions, enabling the mental health conditions to be potentially addressed; and
  3. that is not:
    1. a diagnostic tool or process; or
    2. a system or process used by a student’s teacher to observe behavior for the purpose of targeted learning interventions.

Policy

During the 2020 Utah State Legislative Session, House Bill (H.B.) 323: School Mental Health Funding Amendments was sponsored by Representative Steve Eliason and Senator Ann Millner. This bill was passed and Title 53F-2-522: Public Education Mental Health Screening was created, which directs the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) to make rules regarding the selection of a mental health screener and financial aid for qualifying parents under the grant. The USBE Administrative Rules created R277-625: Mental Health Screeners which provides the approval process for a mental health screener chosen by a Local Education Agency (LEA); and defines data privacy requirements.

Notification of Intent

A Notification of Intent is required for all LEAs who are conducting mental health screenings in any form.

  • 2022-2023 School Year: Closed (Deadline Passed)
  • 2023-2024 School Year: Due May 1, 2023

Training

All participating LEAs shall require relevant staff, who will be administering a mental health screener, to attend an annual mental health screener training. This training will be available via USBE Canvas soon.

Reporting Requirements

All participating LEAs are required to complete an end of year report to demonstrate the results of their mental health screening program. Reporting is required of All Participating LEAs regardless of their status with the School-based Mental Health Screening Grant.

The information that will be requested include:

  • What screening tool(s) were used
  • Total number of students screened
    • Including grade levels, gender, and ethnicity
  • Number of schools conducting screening in the following categories:
    • K-6
    • Middle/Junior High
    • High School
  • Format for conducting mental health screening and how many of each
  • Number of students exhibiting a need for follow up interventions/referrals
  • Number of students referred to services and interventions (inside the school and outside the school) as a result of screening
  • Types of interventions/services provided as a result of screening
    • Including whether or not progress monitoring is occurring for these interventions

Additional questions for grant recipients:

  • Number of parents reimbursed for mental health services
  • Narrative description of the outcomes of your Screening Program

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQ for School-based Mental Health Screening Program
Google Docs 

Resources

Mental Health Screening Tool List

Proposed Mental Health Conditions for School-based Mental Health Screening Program H.B. 323, R277-625

Contacts

Michelle Knight
Utah State Board of Education
Phone: (610) 844-7771 | E-mail

Tiana McCall
Utah State Board of Education
Phone: (801) 538-7647
Cell: (801) 910-2307 | E-mail

Scott Eyre
Utah Office of Substance Use and Mental Health (OSUMH)
Phone: (801) 450-2667 | E-mail

Tina Morandy
Executive Secretary
Phone: (801) 538-7526 | E-mail

Project Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education (AWARE) Grant

Utah's Project AWARE aims to build a comprehensive approach model to school-based mental health to increase mental health literacy and support services to schools and communities. The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) collaborates with behavioral health stakeholders across the state to improve mental health awareness and response. The four major goals in this project are:

  1. Increase student education on mental wellness
  2. Increase mental health screening for early identification
  3. Increase access to mental health care
  4. Increase educator training in mental health wellness, intervention, and crisis response

Interventions and services aligning to these goals are to implement evidence-based programs to improve school climate, link existing resources based on a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) behavioral health framework to support all students, and targeted services and support for American Indian/Alaskan Native students.

Applications for Utah’s Project AWARE closed in 2018. Of the applicants, three Local Education Agencies (LEAs), Alpine, Cache, and Jordan School Districts, were chosen for the 5-year grant, ending in September of 2023. If you are interested in more information regarding the AWARE grant, please visit:

For information regarding school-based mental health screening, please visit the School-based Mental Health Screening Program (SBMHSP).

Contacts

Michelle Knight
Project AWARE Grant Manager
Phone: (610) 844-7771 | E-mail

Shaleece Oldroyd
Executive Secretary
Phone: (801) 538-7640 | E-mail

Trauma-Informed Practices

Trauma-informed practices recognize that trauma affects students, families, communities, and schools. Many children experience trauma amidst ongoing exposure throughout their early development, such as abuse, neglect, homelessness, or violence. Although not all exposure to trauma leads to difficulty in functioning, research tells us that exposure to trauma and toxic stress can lead to difficulties with learning and behavior. 

Schools are uniquely positioned to prevent and mitigate the impacts of trauma exposure on students. Promoting trauma-informed school practices has the greatest potential to positively impact positive student outcomes, regardless of trauma history. By becoming a trauma-sensitive school, schools can promote protective factors for students’ and increase their social, emotional, and academic skills, while safeguarding the well-being of school personnel who strive to meet the unique needs of all learners.

Trauma-Informed Resources

Training

Trauma Sensitive Schools

Visit the Trauma Sensitive Schools Professional Development page for details regarding online coursework via Canvas modules.

Overview of Trauma for Educators Training

Student Services Training Request Portal (TRP)
Qualtrics

Submit requests for this training through the Student Services TRP Portal. Live training will be provided by a Utah State Board of Education (USBE) staff member.

Contacts

Tiana McCall
School Social Worker/School-based Mental Health Specialist
Phone: (801) 538-7647 | E-mail

Shaleece Oldroyd
Executive Secretary
Phone: (801) 538-7640 | E-mail

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

SEL means the process through which students acquire and effectively:

  • apply the knowledge, attitude, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions;
  • set and achieve positive goals;
  • feel and show empathy for others;
  • establish and maintain positive relationships;
  • make responsible decisions;
  • and self-advocate.

SEL is not a specific curriculum, but an ongoing process and initiative that schools may implement in order to create the culture and climate needed for students to feel safe, connected, and be successful in their academic pursuits.

Successful SEL initiatives increase student protective factors, help build essential skills that students need to be successful now and in the future, help students think critically, and enable students to work collaboratively with others.

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)

Contacts

Tanya Albornoz
Prevention and At-Risk Programs Coordinator
Phone: (801) 538-7812 | E-mail

Tandalaya Stitt
Administrative Secretary
Phone: (801) 538-7631 | E-mail