Study 4: The School-based Mental Health Services Study
The School-based Mental Health
Services Study examined one of the components in the
Center's model of factors
contributing to implementation of an effective system of
care; namely, the promotion of collaboration between
key agencies. It is essential that effective collaboration
between the school and mental health systems exist in order
to better serve individual children and families, and to
facilitate significant improvement in the mental health service
The study investigated
school-mental health collaboration in the context of the
overall mental health system, and specifically investigated
two other factors in the Center's model: financing methods that
are consistent with implementing an effective system of care,
and mechanisms that ensure strong family voice at
all levels of the system.
- The study produced new knowledge about the status
of collaboration between education and mental health systems
from a national and community perspective, and explicated
the factors associated with the effective implementation
of comprehensive and integrated school-based mental health
services for children identified as being emotionally disturbed
and served in special education programs.
- This study illustrated the interdependence of the
national, community, and local (school) levels for implementing
effective services for children and adolescents with serious
emotional disturbances and described the specific services
they receive, and the providers and funding sources of
these services. The study team assessed both formal
and informal inter-agency agreements that support the provision
of mental health services to children in schools and
the effects of these services on the functioning
of the children and their families.
Three research questions drove this investigation:
- What are the dimensions (factors) of effective school-based
mental health services?
- Do school-based models that vary on the proposed factors
vary in effectiveness?
- Are comprehensive integrated school-based mental health
services more effective at the student level and overall
school level than models that are limited to the delivery
of services from an outside agency?