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We are the leader in school-based mental health services. Our research, articles and guides are published frequently in news outlets across the country. Learn more about student mental health by reading the featured articles below.
A program adopted three years ago by Westport public schools to address student mental-health issues is still paying off, the Board of Education was told last week. Effective School Solutions, an in-school program that is providing therapeutic interventions at Staples High School and now the district’s two middle schools, has so far helped bring four students back to the district from outside placements, while an estimated nine others did not have to be placed in programs outside town. The program now costs the district about $600,000 a year, according to Elio Longo, the district’s chief financial officer. That compares to an estimated cost savings of more than $1 million, according to data supplied to the board.
Youth mental health is in trouble, and schools have seen firsthand the rise in need for mental health services among students. Yet there are other, more traditional ways that education and after-school programs can boost student well-being, too, including hosting social experiences for kids and staffing schools with more health professionals — two strategies that are sometimes strapped for adequate finances.
Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for those age 10 to 14. The consequences of rising rates of anxiety and depression among our kids are very real and very serious. Youth mental health has been declining for the past decade but reached crisis levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy recently called worsening youth mental health as the “crisis of our time,” with 40 percent of American high schoolers saying they feel persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness. A Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) model for in-school student mental health services is a clinically supported strategy that provides every student support based on their appropriate need for care. Three tiers make up the overall MTSS mental health pyramid of support, each representing an increasing level of treatment and services.
No group has better insight into the youth mental health crisis than students themselves. Now more than ever, youth are experts in their own community needs and are driving solutions to advocate for robust and meaningful change and support. Mental health is a social justice issue for this generation, and they are actively seeking opportunities to mobilize around these challenges. By giving students opportunities to advocate for themselves and their peers, schools can build stronger and healthier communities.
The youth mental health crisis has worsened in the past decade, especially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Forty-four percent of American high schoolers say they feel persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness. That number rises to three in five for teenage girls. As discussed in our previous article, prevention and building capacity within districts to recognize early signs of mental illness is key to getting ahead of the crisis. But implementing long-term mental health services in schools to support the influx of students struggling with various trauma responses cannot be overlooked. Both are vital pieces of the school-based mental health care puzzle.
A brain chemical essential to decision-making and managing stress is emerging as another indicator of why teen girls are bearing the worst of the youth mental health crisis…They’re regularly faced with “unrealistic expectations about clothing and about body image,” said Lisa Ciappi, chief program officer at Effective School Solutions. “There’s a little bit more regarding perfectionism.”
The police were in her driveway. They wanted her son. Jayne Demsky’s teenage son was not a criminal. He never stole, used illegal substances, or physically hurt anyone. He just didn’t go to school. Demsky sought help from educators, doctors and counselors, trying to understand what was stopping her son from going to school for nearly a year. Finally, a psychiatrist told Demsky about a condition that affects a growing number of students with severe anxiety: school avoidanc
To address the growing youth mental health crisis, public health experts agree universal mental health screenings are critical and must start at a young age. According to a poll commissioned by Effective School Solutions, a provider of school-based mental health services for K-12 school districts, only 40% of administrators say their school has adopted broad-based mental health screening initiatives.
Our CEO Duncan Young, comments to The 74 on the ramifications to our youth if states and districts don’t start allocating funds more rapidly. “This is a defining education and public health issue,” he said, pointing to a new $100 million proposal from Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro for school-based mental health services as one example of the sustainable approach school officials want. “Grants — both state and federal — have expiration dates,” he said. “Unfortunately, for the mental health challenges that our young people are experiencing, we don’t see an expiration date.”
The teen mental health crisis has so taxed and alarmed school districts across the country that many are entering legal battles against the social media giants they say have helped cause it, including TikTok, Snap, Meta, YouTube and Google. At least eleven school districts, one county, and one California county system that oversees 23 smaller districts have filed suits this year, representing roughly 469,000 students
Ten months after the Uvalde shooting, and nine months after the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act passed, only 38 of the nation’s 13,000 public school districts have seen a cent from those funds.
To tackle the student mental health crisis, we need to get ahead of emerging mental health conditions before they reach their peak. Students with the most severe mental health concerns are not the only ones who need support. As school leaders, we might not be able to alleviate the fundamental triggers that degrade student mental health. But we can cultivate well-regulated, trauma-informed classrooms and build capacity within our districts and staff to help students thrive.
The pandemic only exacerbated rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts among youth that were already on the rise. A recent national poll by Effective School Solutions found that 90% of school administrators say the youth mental health crisis is growing.
Public school districts that received a windfall of COVID-19 relief funds for mental health services are confronting a new dilemma: How to sustain counseling, screenings, teletherapy and other programs when the money runs out. Advocates, researchers, and administrators told Axios the schools will be hard-pressed to retain qualified mental health personnel after the funding expires at the end of fiscal 2024.
A growing youth mental health crisis is fueling concern among parents as children and teens continue to struggle after returning to school in person. Young people’s mental health declined sharply in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, when schools were closed, and most students were learning remotely. School administrators and caregivers were optimistic the crisis might ease this year after most students returned to classrooms during the 2021-2022 school year
A recent poll from Effective School Solutions found 90% of administrators believe there’s a growing youth mental health crisis. For parents trying to raise successful kids, the way to do that often seems unclear.
The national poll released Wednesday from Effective School Solutions, an organization implementing mental health care in schools, found that the country’s school administrators, parents, and students continue to battle a youth mental health crisis. Nearly all (90%) administrators and almost 60% of parents reported that the crisis is growing. Roughly 60% of administrators say young people’s mental health remains the same or has worsened compared to a year ago.
American adolescents, as has been widely reported, are not OK. In fact, they’re facing such intense mental health issues — spurred on by the pandemic but also predating it — that the U.S. surgeon general has warned of a “devastating” situation. Many hospitals and caregivers have declared a national emergency, and a new national poll has found that many parents and educators believe the problem is growing, and that schools are not equipped to offer the help that’s needed.
Sixty percent of administrators say the youth mental health crisis is the same or worse than last year. “Our first-of-its-kind polling reveals that administrators and parents see a significant, long-term problem with the mental health of young people that must be solved,” says Duncan Young, CEO of Effective School Solutions.
Almost every school administrator believes the mental health challenges their students face are moderate to severe, with more than half saying conditions either worsened or haven’t improved in the last year. The findings came from Effective School Solutions — which provides mental health services for schools — that polled 200 administrators and 1,000 parents with children in K-12. They found that parents are less confident in their school’s ability to deal with students’ mental health issues than the administrators, yet most say schools should play a role in helping their kids
Schools are a big part of helping kids who are struggling with mental illness. “One of the silver linings from the terrible situation that was the pandemic was the fact that districts now had increased awareness on the mental health of our young people and districts really realized what their full potential role was in providing mental health support to students” said Duncan Young, CEO of Effective School Solutions, an organization that partners with districts to help them implement mental health programs.
Our children are facing a mental health epidemic. From 2009 to 2021, the share of American high school students who say they feel “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness” rose from 26 percent to 44 percent. This is the highest level of teenage sadness ever recorded.
Our youth are facing a loneliness epidemic like never before. They have “social” media, but many are lacking healthy social lives. Many have likes and virtual “friends” but not real-life friends. They can text and tweet but not speak and listen and connect. And they are feeling it. How can we solve this loneliness epidemic that young people face? As a part of our interview series about the ‘5 Things We Can Each Do to Help Solve the Loneliness Epidemic Among Young People’ we had the pleasure to interview Duncan Young, CEO of Effective School Solutions.
Districts across the country are wrestling with fundamental questions about what schooling will look like this fall. Just as important as the logistics for safely educating our kids after a return to school is the state of their mental well-being. Effective schooling is possible only if districts anticipate the mental health challenges many of their students will undoubtedly face.
According to numbers released in December by Effective School Solutions, an organization that provides mental health assistance to schools, many school administrators say the mental health problem in schools is getting worse.
The youth mental health crisis is worsening, according to a new poll conducted by Effective School Solutions. Researchers believe this is largely due to a combination of factors, including a failure to identify mental health issues early on, staffing shortages and a lack of funding.
A staggering nine in ten school administrators say their students are battling moderate or severe mental health challenges, according to a report that lifts the lid on America’s youth crisis of anxiety, depression, and suicide. A survey released by Effective School Solutions (ESS), which provides mental health support in schools, also found that 57 percent of the principals and other senior educators said the problem was getting worse.
Our children are facing a mental health epidemic. From 2009 to 2021, the share of American high school students who say they feel “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness” rose from 26 percent to 44 percent. This is the highest level of teenage sadness ever recorded.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only created a learning gap among students but has also impacted their mental health. To address the mental health issue among students, the East Brunswick Public Schools and Effective School Solutions is hosting a Parent University series for the 2021-2022 school year, focusing on the social and emotional health of students and families.
Four Westport students previously serviced outside the local school district, at an estimated cost of $80,000 a clip, are now being educated at Staples High School. Three other students whom educators agree likely would have been placed out of district this year, have stayed put, attending school regularly and receiving the therapeutic services they need in house
Mental health is a real crisis nationwide, especially within our youth, and the issue doesn’t seem to be slowing down. “75 percent of children experience anxiety or depression at some point,” Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long said. With all this on the table, some leaders in Delaware aren’t just watching the problem unfold. They’re being proactive. They held a round table discussion Wednesday discussing the trauma and what they’ve seen during COVID-19.
At a business meeting on Monday night, Harrisburg School District officials discussed working with Effective School Solutions (ESS), which provides mental health programming to K to 12 students. The ESS programming will begin working with students and staff at Harrisburg High School—John Harris Campus and possibly expand to include Camp Curtin and Rowland Academy next year, Superintendent Eric Turman said.
The global pandemic is only exacerbating an ongoing mental health crisis for young people. That was the message Monday night from officials with Effective School Solutions, which the Flemington-Raritan Regional School District has partnered with to help service its students.
Superintendent Kari McGann highlighted ways in which the Flemington-Raritan Regional School District has recently gone about tackling mental health issues. The mental health of its students and families is an area McGann immediately sought to address upon taking over as superintendent in 2018, she said. She added that it is a topic she regularly discusses with the superintendents from Readington Township School District (K-8) and Hunterdon Central Regional High School, as it is a “crisis” in school districts across the country.
With public support, school officials will now be able to address the needs of the district’s most struggling students on the middle and elementary school levels through a therapeutic program and additional resources.
Starting in September, North Hunterdon High School will become the first public school in Hunterdon County teaming up with Effective School Solutions, a provider of in-district clinical services, to implement a program designed to assist students with emotional and behavioral problems.
School officials have started a pilot program aimed at addressing the increased need for student mental health issues, particularly at the high school level. Educators say they hope to continue to provide the in-district, clinical programs embedded in the students’ school day, free of charge for families, next year as well

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Research: 2022 Zogby PollFunding Guide

As a leading voice in the mental health community, we welcome the opportunity to help you shape your message on school-based mental health services.


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Riff City Strategies

San Francisco + Des Moines, IA

(805) 458-5093 | ess@riffcitystrategies.com

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