Mental Health and Schools

GUCCHD has been involved in a number of partnerships and collaborations to facilitate the integration of the mental health and education arenas. There are numerous attempts to increase the amount and types of mental health services in schools. Expanded School Mental Health (ESMH) refers to school-based, mental health services provided by community-based clinicians that complement and supplement the services provided by school social workers, psychologists and guidance counselors. ESMH services are intended to address barriers to learning, to enable students to make better use of educational programs in their schools, and to provide an alternative to mental health services provided within the structure of the Special Education system. Moreover, these programs make mental health services accessible and help reduce the stigma that is sometimes associated with these services by bringing them into the schools.

Evaluation of Baltimore Expanded School Mental Health

Baltimore is recognized as a leader for its ability to provide expanded school ESMH services to its public school students. Through partnerships between the Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS) and a number of community-based mental health programs, a greater range of mental health services, including assessment, treatment and prevention, have been made available to students. Funded through the Maryland Transformation State Infrastructure Grant, this evaluation is a collaboration of BCPSS and its Division of Research, Evaluation, Assessment and Accountability (DREAA), Baltimore Mental Health Systems (BMHS) and the 12 agencies providing mental health services. It is designed to examine the effect of the Baltimore ESMH program on student level educational and behavioral outcomes and to provide a valid framework for ongoing evaluation efforts.

For Clinicians:


Kutash, K., Duchnowski, A. J., & Lynn, N. (2006). School-based mental health: An empirical guide for decision-makers. Tampa, FL: University of South Florida, The Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, Department of Child & Family Studies, Research and Training Center for Children's Mental Health.

Walrath, C., Bruns, E. J., Anderson, K. L., Siegel, M. G., & Weist, M. D. (2004). Understanding school-based mental health services in Baltimore City. Behavior Modification, 28, 472-490.

Weist, M. D., & Evans, S. W. (2005). Expanded school mental health: Challenges and opportunities in an emerging field. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 34(1), 3-6.