Online Program

Collaborative approaches to increase student and family access to behavioral health services

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 11:30 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

Dorothy Zirkle, RN, PHN, PhD, School of Nursing, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Brandon Like, IMF, San Diego State Research Foundation, San Diego, CA
Alejandra Echeverria, San Diego State Research Foundation, San Diego, CA
Gerald Monk, PhD, LMFT, Department of Counseling and School Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Steve Eldred, California Endowment, San Diego, CA
Introduction: In 2012, the Community Wellness Response Team (CWRT) was established in an urban community to create partnerships with local schools and provide needed access to behavioral health services for underinsured/uninsured and/or newly arrived immigrant/refugee students and families.

Development: The CWRT is composed of therapists-in-training from a university-affiliated community clinic that work alongside school staff to promote mental health service delivery. The CWRT uses a streamlined referral process between target school sites, parent centers, school-based health centers, and a community clinic that facilitates overlapping opportunities for services (e.g. in-school counseling, support groups, in-home therapy visits, access to a community clinic, etc.).

Results: Services provided at the university-affiliated clinic have risen from 1900 sessions conducted in 2011 to over 5,000 sessions in 2014. Suspensions at target schools have decreased. Since 2012, over 200 referrals have been made for at-risk students and families. Integration has developed among a diverse group of service providers. Policy and curriculum changes at the university level have evolved around community needs. Service-based learning has emerged as a viable approach to providing community-oriented behavioral health services in collaboration with school staff.

Conclusions: The CWRT program demonstrates the collective impact of integrated service delivery among school staff, community organizations, and professionals-in-training to provide support within school, home, and community contexts. The CWRT initiative can inform school policy changes and create opportunities that positively impact both student and community health.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Identify changes in school policies that facilitated partnerships with community-based service organizations, resulting in an increased capacity to provide behavioral health services for at-risk students and families. Explain the Community Wellness Response Team as a collaborative partnership between schools, community resources, and behavioral health graduate programs utilizing a service-based learning process. Define the role of Community Health Navigators as community advocates working alongside helping professionals and school staff to connect underserved populations to available services.

Keyword(s): Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration, Mental Health Treatment &Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Zirkle currently is faculty and Concentration Chair of SDSU Graduate Nursing Leadership Program. She serves as PI for the Trauma Informed Community Schools Grant directing behavioral health and wellness programs. She also serves the Price Family Fund as Director of Health Services. She creates and administers mental, physical health funding. Dr. Zirkle has a Duel Masters Degree in Nursing Administration and Education and received her PhD in Nursing from University of San Diego.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.