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ERIC Number: ED501379
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Mar
Pages: 105
Abstractor: ERIC
The Current Status of Mental Health in Schools: A Policy and Practice Analysis
Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA
Today's school and community stakeholders are attempting to address complex, multifaceted, and overlapping psychosocial and mental health concerns in diverse, fragmented and at-times marginalized ways. This has led to competition for sparse resources and inadequate results. Enhancing mental health in schools is not an easy task. The bottom line is that limited efficacy seems inevitable as long as the full continuum of necessary programs is unavailable and staff development remains deficient; limited cost effectiveness seems inevitable as long as related interventions are carried out in isolation of each other; and limited systemic change is likely as long as the entire enterprise is marginalized in policy and practice. This state of affairs calls for realigning policy and practice around a unifying and cohesive framework based on well-conceived models and the best available scholarship. Initiatives for mental health in schools must be connected in major ways with the mission of schools and integrated into a restructured system of education support programs and services. This means braiding resources and interventions with a view to ensuring there is a system of learning supports that meets overlapping needs and does so by fully integrating mental health agenda into school improvement planning at school and district levels. Policy and practice must end the marginalization of mental health in schools. Six appendices include: (1) A. New Freedom Commission on Mental Health Recommendations; (2) Reframing How Schools Address Barriers to Learning; (3) Some Natural Opportunities to Enhance Mental Health at School; (4) Guidelines for Mental Health in Schools; (5) Examples of Policy Statements for a Unifying Approach in Schools; and (6) Examples of Provisions in Federal Law that Allow Districts to Redeploy Federal Resources to Improve Systems. (Contains 18 exhibits.)
Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA. Department of Psychology, Franz Hall, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Box 951563, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563. Tel: 310-825-3634; Fax: 310-206-8716; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Office of Adolescent Health (DHHS/PHS); Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (DHHS/PHS), Rockville, MD. Center for Mental Health Services.
Authoring Institution: University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Mental Health in Schools