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Adopting a Data-Driven Public Health Framework in Schools: Results from a Multi-Disciplinary Survey on School-Based Mental Health Practice

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Abstract:

School-based mental health (SBMH) is a growing and important subspecialty within the variety of mental health professions. In Illinois, the state has its own state-driven certification process for four major school-based mental health professions: school counselors, school nurses, school psychologists, and school social workers. To continue building the infrastructure of SBMH and inform practice in this field requires a commitment to understanding the current work and context of these practitioners. The past decade has seen significant changes in education policy and thinking about service provision, as highlighted by Response to Intervention (RTI) and Positive Behavior Supports (PBS), both of which emphasize systematic collection of data on students and interventions designed to improve student outcomes by embedding this work in a three-tier prevention framework drawn from public health approaches. To date, no data about the field has been collected on all of these professions at one time in Illinois. Findings from the survey data (N = 1874, overall response rate of 31%) indicate that SBMH in Illinois is located largely in tertiary activities involving individual and small-group counseling, and few school-based mental health professionals (SBMHP) show a consistent pattern of practice within the current PBS/RTI framework or use more than limited data to inform practice choices.

Keywords: 3-TIER MODEL; EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE; PBS; RTI; SCHOOL COUNSELORS; SCHOOL NURSES; SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS; SCHOOL SOCIAL WORKERS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Published by The Clifford Beers Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Advances in School Mental Health Promotion emphasises the interconnectedness of research, policy, training and practice and the opportunities to make progress in all these areas through global dialogue, collaboration and action. Mark Weist (University of South Carolina and former director/senior advisor of the Center for School Mental Health) and Michael Murray (The Clifford Beers Foundation) are the editors, supported by a distinguished international editorial board.

    Advances in School Mental Health Promotion is an academic journal that co-ordinates the dissemination of new research outcomes to all those involved in policy making and the implementation of mental health promotion in schools and is essential reading for those with a personal or professional interest in this work.

    Peer reviewed by an expert international board, the Journal is a comprehensive information resource which publishes material of distinction submitted by those with a clinical, professional, academic or personal interest in promoting mental health in schools

    The aim of the Journal is to increase awareness, foster understanding and promote collaboration between the different disciplines engaged in this diverse activity of study.

    Advances in School Mental Health Promotion is the official journal of the International Alliance for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Schools (InterCAMHS), an alliance that aims to promote the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.

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