Reframing School-Based Mental Health Supports with an Equity Lens

Reframing School-Based Mental Health Supports with an Equity Lens
August 2014
Kitty Chen Juhanna Rogers Marsha Simon Seena Skelton Kathleen King Thorius

This edition of the Equity Dispatch states that like physical health, mental health is essential to students’ successful participation in school. Students who are mentally healthy and socially and emotionally competent usually have better academic. Often, when we think about mental health services in school, we tend to focus on service provision to individuals experiencing mental health issues, especially those with labels like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or Autism Spectrum Disorder. While it is certainly beneficial for targeted students to receive one-on-one mental health supports, the overall scope of mental health service provision needs to be much larger. Based on this recognition, we must create local, multi-tiered systems of service that emphasize the development of a supportive school culture, inclusive classroom communities, and positive relationships. Accordingly, this article offers key equity considerations and recommendations regarding the promotion of mental health for all students.

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