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Comprehensive School-based Mental Health Supports and Services

Comprehensive school-based mental health addresses the social and personal development of school-age children including wellness/resiliency, mental health, substance abuse, effects of childhood trauma, and the stigma associated with mental illness. Research has shown that when comprehensive school-based mental health services are provided, there is improved academic performance, fewer special education referrals, a decreased need for more restrictive placements among students at high-risk, and higher graduation rates. (Source: The Impact of School Mental Health: Educational, Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Outcomes, University of Maryland School of Medicine, July 2013)

The Department has created the Tennessee Comprehensive School-based Mental Health Resource Guide to provide support to school districts interested in expanding their capacity to provide students with mental health supports and services. A school district can request technical assistance from the Department’s Office of Student Support to implement the resource guide strategies. For additional information or to schedule technical assistance, contact:

Sara Smith, Tennessee AWARE Director
Tennessee Department of Education
Office of Student Support
(615) 253-4664
Sara.Smith@tn.gov

Mental Health and Academic Achievement

If not addressed, mental health concerns can impact a young person’s ability to meet the cognitive demands for learning; social and personal needs for making friends and behaving according to school norms and expectations; and physical demands for activity throughout the school day. Additional information is available here.

Children’s Mental Health Data Brief

To learn about children’s mental health status in Tennessee compared to the United States, view this brief.

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training is available statewide. Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent who is in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. Additional information on YMHFA, is available here.

For additional information or to schedule a group YMHFA training, contact:

Janet Watkins, Tennessee AWARE Training Director
Tennessee Department of Education
Office of Safe and Supportive Schools
(615) 770-3874
Janet.Watkins@tn.gov

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