Enhancing Mental Health Services in CMS
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Enhancing Mental Health Services in CMS. The School-Based Mental Health Program Cotrane Penn, Ph.D Student Services Department. Current State of Mental Health Services in CMS. School Counselors 1 per elementary school 2 – 3 per middle school 1 for approximately 400 high school students

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Enhancing mental health services in cms

Enhancing Mental Health Services in CMS

  • The School-Based Mental Health Program

  • Cotrane Penn, Ph.D

  • Student Services Department


Enhancing mental health services in cms

Current State of Mental Health Services in CMS

  • School Counselors

    • 1 per elementary school

    • 2 – 3 per middle school

    • 1 for approximately 400 high school students

  • School Psychologists – one for 2 to 3 schools

  • Social Workers – 44 assigned to high needs schools

  • Substance Abuse Counselors- 3 in CMS

  • Mental Health Therapists – 2 agencies serving 30 schools


Enhancing mental health services in cms

Current State of Mental Health Services in CMS

  • Mental Health Agency Services

    • Concentrated in Title I Schools

      • Primarily serve Medicaid-eligible students

    • Primarily serve elementary schools


Enhancing mental health services in cms

The Future State of Mental Health Services in CMS

  • CMS holds consistent expectations across agencies

  • Agency work in CMS is contingency-based

  • Students served based on need, not ability to pay

  • True collaborative relationship between district, schools, and agencies

  • Expanded continuum of care available in all CMS schools


Enhancing mental health services in cms

The CMS Vision for School-Based Mental Health Services

  • To increase the availability of evidence-based mental health services for the purpose of improving student’s emotional well-being and enhancing their ability to access and benefit from instruction.


Enhancing mental health services in cms

Mental Health Goal Strands


Enhancing mental health services in cms

Increase the Availability of Services

  • Increase the number of agencies serving CMS schools

  • Increase the number of schools receiving agency services

  • Eliminate barriers that prevent students from accessing agency services


Enhancing mental health services in cms

Mental Health Services Available

  • District mental health staff: Short-term individual and group counseling, limited long-term individual counseling

  • Mental health agencies: Psychological evaluations, intensive outpatient therapy, family therapy, intensive in-home services, medication management


Enhancing mental health services in cms

Access Instruction

  • Formal monitoring of overall student attendance pre- and post- therapy

  • Formal monitoring of out-of-school suspensions and in-school suspensions pre- and post- therapy


Enhancing mental health services in cms

Improved Well-Being

  • All agencies use the same assessment of student behavior pre- and post- services

    • BASC-2 Online

  • Streamlines therapy goal development

  • Allows for teacher rating of student internalizing and externalizing behaviors

  • Allows CMS to see typical improvement rates and better understand agency efficacy


Enhancing mental health services in cms

Benefit from Instruction

  • Formal monitoring of short-term & long-term achievement growth pre- and post- therapy


Enhancing mental health services in cms

Authorized School-Based Agencies

  • The New Providers

    • Family First Community Services

    • Mélange Health Solutions

  • The Continuing Providers

    • Carolinas Healthcare System

    • Thompson Child and Family Focus


Enhancing mental health services in cms

Agency Assignments

  • Posted on SBMH program website

    • Questions? [email protected]

  • One agency per school model

  • Based on a number of factors, none school-specific

  • Goal is to develop consistent practice and quality of care across agencies and school


Enhancing mental health services in cms

Program Element Highlights


Enhancing mental health services in cms

Agency Responsibilities

  • Provide master’s level clinicians

  • Regular, schedule-based presence at schools

  • Work collaboratively with teachers and staff

  • Attend individual student meetings

  • Maintain contact with student and school when student placed in a facility

  • Provide consultation and education to school staff


Enhancing mental health services in cms

School Responsibilities

  • Support and promote provision of agency services

  • Work collaboratively with agency staff

  • Invite agency staff to pertinent planning and intervention meetings

  • Obtain parent permission for agency presence at student meetings

  • Conduct regular review meetings to get status and progress updates on agency students

  • Designate a point person to manage agency protocol within the school


Enhancing mental health services in cms

Collaborative Responsibilities

  • Ensure access to services for all students in need

  • Use a “warm hand-off” for parent permission

  • Crisis intervention for agency clients

  • Bi-directional sharing of information

  • Shared school behavior goals


Enhancing mental health services in cms

The SBMH “Soft Start”


Enhancing mental health services in cms

Requesting SBMH Services

  • Google Forms will be used to make requests

    • It is a secured site

  • Any student who will be referred for agency services needs a request submitted

  • Only the designated CMS staff can make requests

  • Authorization is needed for service oversight and budget management

  • The Soft Start Referral process steps


Enhancing mental health services in cms

Orienting the Agency Therapist

  • Introduce therapist to critical staff

    • Administrators

    • Secretaries

    • Student Services Staff & EC staff

  • Share school-specific norms

    • Sign-in/sign-out expectations

    • Classroom visit norms

    • Staff arrival/departure times


Enhancing mental health services in cms

  • Orienting the Agency Therapist cont.

  • Special tips

  • Staff dress code

  • Tour of school & provide school map

  • Help therapist understand various schedules

    • Elementary grade level/classroom

    • Middle & High school S1/S2 & A-day/B-day schedules

    • Testing calendars and related restrictions

  • How to schedule meeting space


  • Enhancing mental health services in cms

    The SBMH Fall 2014

    “Hard Start”


    Enhancing mental health services in cms

    What will be done before the “hard start” in the fall?

    • Comprehensive training of agency staff on:

      • School staff roles and responsibilities

      • School-based team processes

      • Referral to services process

      • Agency responsibilities in the school setting

      • Interacting with clients in the school setting


    Enhancing mental health services in cms

    Preparing for the “hard start” cont.

    • Working in educational settings (general overview of school practices, procedures, and the day-to-day work of schools, importance of the master schedule)*

    • Agency effectiveness review process

    • Agency entry plan development*- present entry plan concept to agencies

  • Acquire and train on BASC-2 usage

  • Meet with all school leaders to address Q & As


  • Enhancing mental health services in cms

    School-Based Mental Health Therapy as an RtI Intervention

    • All students receiving school-based mental health services are considered to be in tier 2 or 3 of the district’s RtI model

      • Placing a student at tier 2 or 3 denotes that he or she is at-risk and requires additional school-based behavioral supports

    • Starting in the Fall of 2014, the regular education intervention process guidelines will apply to SBMH Program services


    Enhancing mental health services in cms

    Agency Contact Information


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