There are different ways to address in district school behavioral health and who provides different mental health services in schools.
School-Based Health Clinics: In some communities, school-based health clinics are where families and students can come to the school for all medical and behavioral issues. You can get a list of these clinics from the Public Health Department, Board of Education, or Department of Education in your state. These health clinics provide a number of support options for families and children, including mental and physical health services. In communities that have these clinics, services are accessible to every child who attends that school. There are a number of types of service providers and professionals that work to provide these services in schools. Some providers will specialize in specific programs, while others offer a wide variety of services.
School Counselors: Counselors work with students, families, and school staff and assist students by helping them in making decisions. They can also teach strategies for school success. School counselors may deliver classroom lessons as well as provide small group counseling on different topics. Counselors meet with parents, staff, and teachers to understand the needs of students and to help meet these needs. Counselors want to help remove any barriers to student learning.
School Social Workers: A social worker is someone who is a trained mental health professional who can provide a range of intervention and prevent services for students as it relates to education. Services can include individual counseling, group-based interventions, peer mediation, and crisis intervention. Social workers are often a liaison between the schools and families and provide an advocate for the best interest of the child.
School Psychologists: A school psychologist is trained to provide assessment, testing, intervention, and prevention services in these schools. There are a number of therapist services to help students with learning difficulties. Some of these services include counseling to address family stressors at home, skill development, or other evidence-based treatments. The goal is to improve the student’s academic, emotional, and social functioning. They also provide consultation with families, administration, and staff and can help with referrals outside of school if needed.
School Nurses: Nurses can often be the first to provide support or treat wellness concerns of students. They often will consult with other mental health professionals outside of school through case management and referrals.
Paraprofessional: A paraprofessional can be a classroom aid or teacher’s assistant who may work with administrative duties, provide support, or monitor a group of students. Those who work in special education departments may offer assistance and support to the primary teacher, or they could be assigned to provide individual support to one student based on a child’s IEP requirements.