The Role of System of Care Communities in Developing and Sustaining School Mental Health Services

Elizabeth V. Freeman, Debra Grabill, Frank Rider, and Kelly Wells

Today’s schools work under increased expectations to improve student outcomes (e.g., increase academics, graduation rates, school attendance; decrease violence such as fighting, bullying). Research shows the importance of addressing nonacademic barriers to student achievement through evidence-based practices that address a student’s social and emotional learning environment.

adult and child holding handsSchools and communities that work to develop strong school-family-community partnerships through the system of care (SOC) approach will discover opportunities to integrate the work and develop school wide approaches to create positive learning environments and address the academic, behavioral and mental health support needs of students.

An SOC approach develops a spectrum of effective, community-based services and supports for children and youth with or at risk for mental health or other behavioral challenges. This brief focuses on the school and community connection and the role of SOCs in developing and sustaining an effective, coordinated network of supports and services in schools for children, youth and their families.

Learn more about AIR’s work to address behavioral health in the context of families, schools, communities and systems.

This brief was written by AIR staff for the Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health project funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Image of Frank Rider
Senior Financing Specialist
Image of Kelly Wells
Principal TA Consultant