Title

Integrating School Mental Health with Urban PBIS Initiatives

Location

Urban Strand - Navarro

Focused Area

Youth-At-Risk in Urban Settings

Relevance to Focused Area

Kokomo Central School Corporation is an urban corporation in central Indiana. Within this school corporation, every individual building has poverty levels above 50% while some are even reaching upwards of 95%. Poverty alone serves as a risk factor for the students within Kokomo Central School Corporation. According to the NIDA, other risk factors may include, but are not limited to drug availability, lack of parental supervision, substance abuse, and early aggressive behavior. This presentation addresses how to integrate school mental health services with school PBIS initiatives in order to create a climate and culture to support change for all students, but with more intensive interventions for those that are considered youth-at-risk.

Primary Strand

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance to Primary Strand

Due to a passion for helping youth-at-risk, Kokomo Central School Corporation partnered with a local agency in the business of providing mental health services, Four County Counseling Center. This partnership has evolved and become more innovative in responding to the needs of students-at-risk through integrating mental health services into school-wide PBIS initiatives. Collaboration for improving social and emotional learning is taking place for all three tiers related to PBIS: universal, small group, and individual interventions. Because of this collaboration and partnership, Four County Counseling Center is placing mental health workers in various schools in order to assist with students' social and emotional needs. This is done through individual skill building and psychoeduactional group settings. The mental health workers also work with school teachers and administrators to adopt the other PBIS initiatives throughout the school. Additionally, integration is allowing for innovative programming to be developed through utilizing school data to determine higher levels of needed mental health support for the student body.

Brief Program Description

Youth-at-risk in urban settings have unique barriers to accessing mental health treatment. Integrating school mental health with PBIS initiatives provides rapid access to much needed services while working towards improving school-wide climate. This kind of partnership results in positive outcomes for youth-at-risk and is targeted for school/community social workers, school administrators and overall faculty.

Summary

According to the NIDA, risk factors for youth include poverty, drug availability, aggressive behavior, lack of parental supervision, and substance use. Many students within Kokomo Central School Corporation fall subject to these risk factors that can contribute to the engagement in risk behavior throughout the lifespan (NIDA). Youth-at-risk in urban settings have unique barriers to accessing mental health treatment that will support the development of vital social and emotional learning. Integrating school mental health with PBIS initiatives provides rapid access to much needed services that can assist students with developing the skills needed to demonstrate resilience in the face of adversity. This kind of partnership results in positive outcomes for youth-at-risk including improved attendance, fewer office discipline referrals, increased grade point averages, and fewer reported psychosocial problems.

Integration of school mental health services into a corporation’s PBIS initiatives is important due to the positive impact of PBIS on school-wide culture and climate as well as students’ general behavioral improvement (www.pbis.org). The innovative response from Kokomo Central School Corporation and Four County Counseling Center is creating an atmosphere where mental health services are becoming ingrained in the overall school culture and climate. Creating this shift in how mental health services are provided is decreasing barriers to youth-at-risk accessing care rapidly. Additionally, collaboration is allowing school personnel and mental health workers to work hand-in-hand to utilize interventions that support positive behavior.

While collaboration is important, this partnership also emphasizes the importance of utilizing value based outcomes in order to make decisions relative to both PBIS and mental health services. Understanding how to collect and utilize data is a vital part of implementing PBIS initiatives. This allows school personnel and mental health workers to determine the needs for youth-at-risk. Additionally, data is allowing the partnership to understand what evidence based practices are needed to make an impact within the community. This presentation will assist learners in understanding how school mental health can integrate with urban PBIS initiatives as well as how value based outcomes interact with overall collaboration.

Evidence

A major focus for change efforts in education and mental health is currently underway across the United States. School-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports is a systems approach to establishing the social culture and behavioral supports needed for all children in a school to achieve both social and academic success. PBIS is not a packaged curriculum, but an approach that defines core elements that can be achieved through a variety of strategies (https://www.pbis.org/research).

School mental health services utilize value based outcomes in order to determine effectiveness of services provided. These outcomes include office discipline referrals, grade point averages, attendance, reported psychosocial problems through utilization of brief assessment tools, and various descriptive statistics, Utilizing data allows decisions to made regarding best practices/interventions, and where to invest in training for evidence based practices related to prevention and intervention.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Elizabeth Avery has worked for Four County Counseling Center for four years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master of Art’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She worked with Four County Counseling Center’s Executive Team to establish and implement the agency’s School-Based Department. The School-Based Department was developed in February 2014. Four County administration work with school corporations in innovative ways to use data to drive decision making processes that assist with overall access to mental health care. Currently, Elizabeth Avery provides operational oversight to the School-Based Department and utilizes clinical informatics agency-wide to assist with improving overall quality of care and clinical efficiencies.

Dr. Tenicia Helmberger is currently serving as the Director of Special Education and Assessment for the Kokomo Schools Corporation in Kokomo, Indiana. She received a Bachelor of Science in Education from Indiana University, Bloomington in 2000. She taught students in grades K-8 in all eligibility categories of special education with a focus on students with Emotional Disabilities, Mild Cognitive Disabilities, and specific Learning Disabilities. She has earned a Master’s degree in Curriculum Design and Instruction as well as a Masters in Educational Leadership. In 2014 she earned a Ph.d in Educational Leadership from Indiana State University.

Start Date

10-23-2016 2:45 PM

End Date

10-23-2016 5:00 PM

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Oct 23rd, 2:45 PM Oct 23rd, 5:00 PM

Integrating School Mental Health with Urban PBIS Initiatives

Urban Strand - Navarro

Youth-at-risk in urban settings have unique barriers to accessing mental health treatment. Integrating school mental health with PBIS initiatives provides rapid access to much needed services while working towards improving school-wide climate. This kind of partnership results in positive outcomes for youth-at-risk and is targeted for school/community social workers, school administrators and overall faculty.