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Characteristics and funding of school mental health services: A national survey

Judith Teich, MSW1, Mary Rollefson, PhD2, Susan Foster, MSW, MPH3, and Gail Robinson, PhD2. (1) Center for Mental Health Services, Office of Organization and Financing, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 15-87, Rockville, MD 20857, (2) Abt Associates, Inc., 1110 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 610, Washington, DC 20005-3522, 202-261-1835, mary_rollefson@abtassoc.com, (3) Abt Associates, Inc, 55 Wheeler Street, Cambridge, MA 02132

The Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) and Abt Associates have just completed the first national survey intended to describe and document: 1) models and arrangements for delivering mental health (MH) services in public schools in the U.S.; 2) barriers to the provision and coordination of such services; 3) numbers and qualifications of MH staff in schools; 4) types of MH problems encountered in school settings; and 5) major sources of funding for school MH services. Variations across schools were examined by geographic region; level (elementary, middle, secondary); type of community (urban, suburban, rural); size; and student body characteristics (e.g., poverty and minority status). Questionnaires were mailed to a stratified random sample of 2,225 schools drawn from the Common Core of Data; a separate survey instrument was mailed to the 1,650 school districts associated with sampled schools. Intensive follow-up with schools and districts was conducted by mail and phone.

The survey represents new national data that have never before been available. Data analysis is underway; it is expected that study results will be of wide and considerable interest. Whether the data indicate that mental health services in schools are readily available, or are difficult to access or in short supply, the study should nevertheless provide new insights about MH resources and their distribution across different schools and student populations. The report will also include impressions from school administrators and mental health personnel about successful approaches, barriers to the delivery of services, and the impact of recent budget constraints on the availability of MH services.

Learning Objectives: This session will enable the participant to

Keywords: School-Based Health Care, Mental Health Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

School-Based Mental Health Programs and Services

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA