Integrating School and Mental Health Systems
IU4 - Midwestern Intermediate Unit (MIU)
223 McCaslin Road
New Castle, PA 16101
Success Story Contact
BSE/PaTTAN’s Role in Success:
PaTTAN has been critical to Laurel School District's progress by supplying the materials for in-service training and technical assistance at each step of the process. PaTTAN continues to be the district's "go-to" resource and will continue to be essential partners in meeting the ongoing needs of Laurel School District's students, families, community agencies, staff and community.
Students were not receiving the services they need to ensure their academic success. When faced with the question of how to best improve student access to mental health services, the Laurel School District created the School Based Mental Health Initiative.
When a school district, such as Laurel, is located in a rural county, such as Lawrence, access to services can be a time consuming and tedious process, which results in students not receiving the services they need to ensure their academic success. When faced with the question of how to best improve student access to mental health services, the Laurel School District created the School Based Mental Health Initiative. Assisted through funding provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Laurel School District initiated a partnership program with local mental health agencies in order to facilitate a more seamless flow of access to child and adolescent mental health services. Laurel School District administrators saw time and time again how students needed services, but parents did not want their children to travel out of the school district. District leadership knew that creating a school based mental health initiative in the district to coordinate internal and external resources, collect comprehensive date, increase communication among students, parents, school administrators and health care providers would provide timely student access to needed services. The district’s primary goal was to create a mental health integration network within each school to provide students with access to mental health services providers. Additionally, the district wanted to provide professional development opportunities to both teachers and the mental health partners with an emphasis on best practices research. Lastly, the district was very clear about collaborating with parents early and often.
Today the program is in full swing and everyone is benefiting. There is an informative website set-up with all the agencies and partners in one place. There is co-training occurring regularly with teachers and mental health partners. School-based core meetings are ongoing and moving the process along. The district is developing and reproducing a mental health resource binder for one stop shopping for students. The district continues to create a functional referral system while ensuring that providers are communicating in a confidential manner with the district on services provided. Lawrence County Network of Care is also considering adding additional staff to expand its capacity for school-based mental health services across the county.Congratulations to Laurel School District for their School-Based Behavioral Health Initiative: Integrating School & Mental Health Systems’ Success Story!