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The Mental Health Initiative: Elementary School Based Prevention and Early Intervention. A collaborative effort between: The Care Foundation Bentonville Public Schools Springdale Public Schools Ozark Guidance. Children learn best when physical, emotional and social needs are met.
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A collaborative effort between:
The Care Foundation
Bentonville Public Schools
Springdale Public Schools
Patterns of school failure often begin in the first three years of school.
Primary Project is a school-based early detection and prevention program. It provides children with positive one-on-one attention at school in a play room with a trained child associate for 30 minutes once a week for a period of 10-12 weeks. Play is how children learn about the world, solve problems, and communicate feelings.
Community resource and referral services are designed to provide targeted individualized assistance to students and families. Provision of these services are designed to assist families in accessing basic economic and health care needs, to provide linkages with community agencies, and to facilitate/coordinate services with community organizations.
In-service programs are provided to teachers and staff. These programs are designed to increase staff’s awareness of the symptoms and treatment of mental health disorders. It serves to normalize mental health and well being.
This program is designed to serve economically disadvantaged or psychosocially at risk children in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. Connections is considered the “sister program” to Primary Project. The Mentor/Volunteer Coordinator matches children with appropriate mentors as well as recruits mentors from the community.
The coordinator for Connections also assists teachers and parents with the Big Brother/Big Sister program and the HIP program.
Ozark Guidance sponsors four 2nd year MSW interns from the University of AR. The internship program is designed to provide specialized training in the area of school-based mental health. Each intern can provide counseling services for individual students and families. They also facilitate therapeutic groups.
The T-CRS consists of 32 items assessing different aspects of a child’s socio-emotional adjustment. Items are grouped into the following four empirically derived scales:
Outcomes are computed as an independent research project through National Office for Rural Measurement and Evaluation Systems (NORMES). All results specific to Primary Project are completed by Children’s Institute.
The results from Children’s Institute program evaluation from the 04/05 (spring only), 05/06 and 06/07 school years showed clinically significant positive outcomes in T-CRS post scores in task orientation, behavior control, assertiveness, and peer social skills.
“Overall, it appears that the majority of the goals of the Mental Health Initiatives School Based Mental Health Program (identify at-risk children, reduce ineffective functioning of at-risk children, provide social service interventions, and support mental health education) have been effective.”
Through continued collaborations between community and mental health agencies, together we can ensure that children’s educational, physical, and social/emotional needs are nurtured.