School Mental Health Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Exchange Series Summary

Background: The State Support Network (the Network), in partnership with the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), the National Center on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) collaborated to provide a technical assistance (TA) opportunity for state educational agencies (SEAs) interested in school mental health.

P2P Description: A P2P exchange is a facilitated conversation amongst peers to discuss common challenges and share successes. The goal of the School Mental Health (SMH) P2P Exchange Series was to support SEAs wanting to plan and expand school mental-health services. The P2P groups included states in the early SMH development/implementation phase and states in the SMH sustainability phase. The Network facilitated four sessions, each tailored to address the needs and interests expressed by both groups of participating SEAs:

  • Session 1- Understand the Extent and Nature of Mental Health Needs of K-12 Students
  • Session 2- Build Collaborative Partnerships as an Essential Component of SMH Programs
  • Session 3- Sustain and Expand SMH Programs
  • Session 4- Develop Capacity and Access to a Qualified SMH Workforce

P2P Objectives: The Network established the following objectives for this P2P series to support participating SEAs and address questions related to the development and implementation of school mental-health services:

  • To understand the extent and nature of mental-health needs (including social, emotional, and behavioral health) among K-12 students in their jurisdictions. (Group 1)
  • To develop, strengthen, and sustain partnerships across SEAs, LEAs, community behavioral-health providers and other stakeholders (families, faith-based, CBO’s) to facilitate improved access to mental-health programs and services for K-12 students. (Group 1)
  • To learn the importance of data in planning, implementation, and sustainability of evidence-based programs and promising practices that address student needs. (Group 2)
  • To understand the importance of cross-agency partnerships, data, policy and infrastructure in building staff and faculty capacity to promote school mental health and increasing access to qualified mental-health professionals. (Group 2)

Participating SEAs: Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Guam, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wyoming, and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE).

P2P Duration: August 2019 through September 2019