What America Needs to Tackle the Youth Mental Health Crisis: A Guide to MTSS In-School Mental Health Services, Tier 3

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.

What America Needs to Tackle the Youth Mental Health Crisis: A Guide to MTSS In-School Mental Health Services, Tier 2

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.

What America Needs to Tackle the Youth Mental Health Crisis: A Guide to MTSS In-School Mental Health Services, Tier 1

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.

Learn more about Funding Sustainable School-Based Mental Health Programs

Complete this form to schedule a free mental health planning session where we will discuss available financial sources you can leverage to fund school-based mental health programs in your district.

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Our Unwavering Focus on Data Collection

At ESS, we have an unrelenting focus on data, measuring results, and communicating to our partners the proven impact our programming has on mental health, school outcomes and financial sustainability.

With every ESS partner, we will:

• Set data driven goals at the beginning of every implementation

• Have regular “Report Card” meetings in which we share the impact of ESS services

• Monitor data along the way to look for potential risk areas so that these can be proactively addressed

Learn more about our Will to Wellness 6 Step Framework

Complete this form to discuss best practices for districts, states, and federal policymakers that will reinvent mental health in schools over the next five years.

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Speak with our experts to learn how your district can improve outcomes and reduce costs

Complete this form to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your needs and challenges and to provide insights on where you may be able to improve mental health support.

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Let’s Discuss Your Student Mental Health Needs

Fill out the form to request a meeting with one of our clinical experts to explore ways we can partner to strengthen your mental health programs.

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