Mental Health

One in five youth have a mental health condition, with half of mental health conditions developing by age 14. Yet, less than half of youth with mental health conditions received any kind of treatment in the past year. Undiagnosed, untreated, and inadequately treated mental illnesses significantly interfere with a student’s ability to learn, to grow, and to develop.

BRIEF SUMMARY

One in five youth have a mental health condition, with half of mental health conditions developing by age 14. Yet, less than half of youth with mental health conditions received any kind of treatment in the past year. Undiagnosed, untreated, and inadequately treated mental illnesses significantly interfere with a student’s ability to learn, to grow, and to develop. Since children spend much of their productive time in educational settings, schools provide a unique opportunity to identify and treat mental health conditions by serving students where they already are. (NAMI)

KEY POINTS

  • Up to one in five kids living in the U.S. shows signs or symptoms of a mental health disorder in a given year.
  • Most children — nearly 80 percent — who need mental health services won’t get them.
  • With large caseloads, school counselors are usually not able to provide enough resources to all students who suffer from a mental illness.
  • Experts say that a comprehensive approach, families and school professionals working together, is the best approach to identifying and dealing with mental health issues in schools.
  • Whether treated or not, children with mental health issues go to school.
  • The problems that students with mental health issues face can tie into major problems found in schools: chronic absence, low achievement, disruptive behavior and dropping out.

RESOURCES

  • (Added 10/09/23 Michelle Clarke, IDOE): Memo from IDOE around Mental Health Assessments – School leaders can exclude or excuse students if mentally or physically unfit. They would just need to provide access to education via homebound or an alternative setting. They would only have to allow the student to return if a licensed mental health provider certifies the student is fit for attendance. In my experience working with licensed mental health professionals, they are hesitant to write letters certifying this. This memo just ensures students are not suspended or expelled pending a mental health assessment. It is best practice to work with the student’s families or guardian to provide resources, and ways access to mental health support. If the family is not willing to get the support needed for their child, and you feel the child is a harm to themselves or others, then you would need to follow your school district’s Crisis Intervention Plan per 511 IAC 4-1.5-7. If you need assistance in any of these areas, please reach out to our team, engagement@doe.in.gov, we would be happy to help.
  • (IDOE Update, August 25, 2023): Opportunity for Sources of Strength K-6 Student Wellness Curriculum: IDOE’s Office of Student, School and Family Engagement has partnered with Sources of Strength to offer strength-based student wellness curriculum for free to 20 elementary/intermediate schools for the 2023-2024 school year. Sources of Strength Elementary is a strength-based prevention curriculum with a strong focus on mental health and proactive prevention for students and staff members. Classroom instructors, counselors, or other staff members deliver the curriculum in each classroom through engaging, applicable, and interactive lessons. Complete the application here. The first 20 schools that submit an application and meet all necessary criteria will be selected (CSI & TSI eligible schools will be given priority). Last day for submission is Friday, September 15. Contact Jason Murrey with any questions.
  • Mental Health in Schools
  • Alltreatment.com is a community-based public-benefit website connecting people to the addiction resources they need.
  • Indiana School-Mental Health Provider Memorandum of Understanding
  • Effective Collaborations with Community Mental Health Centers for Schools (Indiana Youth Institute, June 2020)

SHARED WISDOM

  • (Added 10/2/23): Playbook Project Background: The Bowen Center for Health Workforce Research, with generous support from Lilly Endowment Inc, is coordinating the development of a Playbook with “plays” (strategies) focused on identifying opportunities for strengthening Indiana’s mental and behavioral health workforce. The project focuses on the post-secondary training pipeline to full licensure for professionals whose practice is dedicated to mental and behavioral health. Bookmark the Playbook Project web-page and check back monthly for updates.
  • (An Update from IDOE 5/5/23): May is Mental Health Awareness Month – May is Mental Health Awareness Month. During Mental Health Awareness Month, you can show your support for Mental Health by spreading the word in your school and community. FSSA’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) and Project AWARE have created a Youth Mental Health Resources document to help promote student well-being and mental health. Contact DMHA with any questions.
  • (CounselorTalk, March 2023): Jennifer Dodson shares a compilation of Mental Health resources shared with her by school counselors in Indiana.  You can find that HERE
  • Question: I like to know the process of setting up therapeutic services in my school.

    • Responses:
    • I contacted the Bowen Center. We have one about 20 minutes from our school. They are very helpful and willing to come to the school to help.
    • We have connected with a couple of mental health providers in our area. One services primarily our students with medicaid — providing school based therapy and school based case management.
      We also found there was a need for our students with private insurance and lack of providers. The second provider was contacted to service our students with private insurance. They only provide school based therapy services.  Each provider gave us referral forms to use. I meet with the child’s parents and discuss counseling services outside of the school. Parents are usually looking for a provider but do not know where to begin. I discuss providers in the community and the ones who come to school. Parents decide if they want their child to have therapy services and how they want them to receive them. I make a referral after I have obtained their permission. Once I refer, the mental health center arranges the intake, sets up appointments and the billing process.
      Parents sign releases allowing the provider to communicate with the school.
    • Our process is nearly identical to (the above).  The only difference is that parents have us set up the initial intake appt.  Also the intake appt takes place at school.
  • Indiana has been selected as 1 of 9 states to be a part of the National Coalition for the State Advancement of School Mental Health, through Center for School Mental Health (CSMH). CSMH will provide technical assistance to Indiana schools with use of the SHAPE System, a school performance and mental health assessment system. A benefit of this assessment system is that it will help to expand the capacity for schools and districts to meet the social, emotional, and mental health needs of their students and staff. For more information, please contact Jeff Wittman or Kristan Sievers-Coffer.

CONTENT FEEDBACK

If you have suggestions, feedback, or resources, please email counselor1stop@inspiresuccess.org and let us know.