Supporting and providing mental health services in schools for students and familes fall into 3 categories:
Mentoring and other Practices
Success Mentoring is a program providing targeted supports for chronically absent students. Mentoring programs provide an adult at the school that students feel comfortable sharing their issues with that can be a path for knowing the mental health needs of that student.
Find out more about Success Mentoring, as well as the vast resources available, here.
Individual counseling can be provided either at the school or on a referral basis.
At the school: Individual counseling can be provided by a clinical social work or therapist on school grounds.
Referral System: All schools have a SMH partner that provides varying levels of support for the school- Mental Health Manager or Consultant; a 100 Schools Project partner; PIP team, etc.
Schools should work with their SMH partner to find community organizations and individuals who can provide counseling at low-no cost to families.
Many local CBOs and City Agencies have mental health supports for adults or families. Here are few OCS partners.
Family Assessment Program (ACS):
Schools should work with their SMH partner to find additional resources.
In a survey of New York City public high school students, 27% reported feeling sad or hopeless each month and 8% reported having attempted suicide. These results point to the urgent need for directing mental health services within schools.
Community Schools are uniquely positioned to support the City's mental health roadmap. Through a strong partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Department of Education's Office of School Health, school-based mental health services are in place in all 150 Community Schools. Services include:
- Crisis interventions, counseling, professional development
- Full-service clinics in place in certain schools
- Additional clinics opened in 2016-17
For more information on the range of Mental Health Services available in your Community School, watch the webinar on Maximizing Mental Health Services (above).
Implementing Mental Health Programming in Community Schools
Planning and reporting are key to implementing an excellent mental health program in your school. As schools are collaboratively planning budgets and programs, they also develop a Mental Health Work Plan with their Mental Health Manager. Schools are encouraged to find programs and services that meet the mental health needs of their school population.
In order to capture the great work that is happening around mental health in our Community Schools, all mental health partners capture their services in a monthly mental health service data report.
Reports are due on the 10th of each month.
Making Educators Partners (MEP) in Youth Suicide Prevention is a special initiative of ThriveNYC: A Mental Health Roadmap, the Office of School Health. This training is an evidence-based suicide prevention model that helps staff observe warning signs and become comfortable connecting students with the supports they need within your school. Contact your mental health manager to schedule this valuable training as soon as possible for your school.
Suicide Prevention Trainings
School Mental Health provides trainings to support school and CBO staff, parents, and other adults working with youth on suicide prevention.
Many of the trainings are tutorials found online while others are more comprehensive day long trainings.
Click on the picture below for details! You can also email MH@schools.nyc.gov for more information.
Free Mental Health Training
Mental Health First Aid - this valuable program is other school staff that typically interacts with large groups of students. is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people adolescent (age 12-18). The 2 day course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations.
To connect to a counselor in an emotionally intense moment, or if you think you or someone you know may need long term assistance to manage stress, you can connect to NYC WELL by dialing 1-888-NYC-WELL or by visiting NYC.gov/NYCWELL.
This initiative provides a road map for greater mental health and wellness for all New Yorkers and is guided by six core principles: change culture, act early, close treatment gaps, partner with communities, use data better, and position government to lead.
Protocol for Article 31 Security Clearance Information
This protocol applies to Mental Health Providers operating in School Based Mental Health Clinics in NYC Community Schools.
- When a new School Based Mental Health Clinic (SBMHC) becomes operational and staff is brought on, it is understood that all staff have been cleared by SCR and fingerprinted as per New York State Office of Mental Health requirements.
- The School Mental Health Manager (SMHM) receives the confirmation of clearance or change in status of any staff from mental health provider. The SMHM communicates that information to the following people via email: Mental Health Provider, Lead CBO designees (Executive Director and CBO supervisor or HR designee), Principals, United Way of NYC and Office of Community Schools designees.
- If the employee is denied clearance OR changes status, the SMHM follows up with the Lead CBO designees to ensure the employee is not working on site until clearance is granted or reinstated.
- If Schools need to know what staff have been 'cleared' to work with students, providers may communicate this in writing or verbally. It is up to each provider to select method of notification.
- If an applicant is arrested subsequent to being hired then the central personnel office would notify the school and appropriate safety assessment & planning will commence.
- This process is followed for all new Article 31 staff who are hired at any point during the calendar year.