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

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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

  • 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


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


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


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.


Mental Health Goal Strands


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


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


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


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


Benefit from Instruction

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


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


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


Program Element Highlights


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


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


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


The SBMH “Soft Start”


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


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


  • 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


  • The SBMH Fall 2014

    “Hard Start”


    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


    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


  • 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


    Agency Contact Information


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