Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health Needs

Many children and students struggle with mental health challenges that impact their full access to and participation in learning, and these challenges are often misunderstood and can lead to behaviors that are inconsistent with school or program expectations. The COVID-19 global pandemic intensified these challenges, accelerating the need to provide school-based mental health support and leverage our accumulated knowledge about how to provide nurturing educational environments to meet the needs of our nation’s youth.

This resource highlights seven key challenges to providing school- or program-based mental health support across early childhood, K–12 schools, and higher education settings, and presents seven corresponding recommendations. The appendix provides additional useful information, including (a) numerous examples corresponding to the recommendations highlighting implementation efforts throughout the country; (b) a list of federal resource centers; (c) a list of resources to assist educators (teachers, providers, and administrators) in implementing the recommendations; and (d) guidance on existing programs that can support social, emotional and mental health services for students.

View or download the report.

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