Effective School-Community Partnerships to Support School Mental Health

Comprehensive school mental health systems rely on a foundation of educators and school-employed mental health professionals (e.g. school psychologists, school counselors, school social workers), in partnership with community health and mental health professionals. States, districts, and schools often grapple with how to strategically staff a full continuum of mental health supports and services, sometimes exclusively relying on either schools or community partners. This strategy fails to leverage the strengths and resources of each system (education and health/behavioral health) and may lead to siloed and fragmented supports. This document provides an overview of the key elements of school-community partnerships and specific action steps for states, districts, and communities to foster effective collaboration between schools and community health and behavioral health partners.

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