This May as we recognize National Mental Health Awareness Month, schools around the country are welcoming students and educators back for in-person instruction after more than a year of remote or hybrid teaching and learning. One issue schools must consider during this transition back is the increase in mental health concerns among adults, young adults, and adolescents this past year. Here at IES, we support research that explores, develops, and tests innovative, field-initiated approaches to support mental health in schools and classrooms. This new IES blog series will explore school-based mental health by looking at IES-funded research that helps answer the five Ws:
- Why school-based mental health? The first blog in the series will consider the benefits of school-based mental health such as providing increased access to services, especially for children of color, and potentially counteracting the stigma some associate with mental health treatment.
- What can schools do to support the mental health of their students and staff? The second blog in the series will highlight several projects that are developing innovative new ways to provide mental health services in school settings.
- When during the school day can schools implement these mental health practices so that they do not compete with the academic/instructional goals of school? The third blog in the series will highlight a variety of projects that delve into the implementation challenges inherent to providing school-based mental health services and support.
- Who in the school should implement these mental health practices? The fourth blog in the series will explore the critical scale up challenge for schools of having staff with adequate time who can be appropriately trained to provide mental health supports to students.
- Where can these mental health practices be implemented? The final blog in the series will investigate the implementation challenges of different education settings (PreK, elementary, middle, high school, postsecondary) for school-based mental health programs and practices.
See these blogs for more information about some of the school-based mental health research supported through the two IES research centers, the National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER).
Written by Emily Doolittle (Emily.Doolittle@ed.gov), NCER Team Lead for Social Behavioral Research at IES