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Training & Technical Assistance

Training and Technical Assistance is critical to and has been a cornerstone of the NCSMH mission since its inception. The NCSMH leads numerous training and technical assistance efforts to increase and improve high quality comprehensive school mental health systems across the nation. In particular, the NCSMH leads the National Quality Initiative for Comprehensive School Mental Health Systems including the development and implementation of the National School Mental Health Census and Performance Measures and corresponding resources housed on the SHAPE System.

School Health Services National Quality Initiative

Project Staff:

  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, UMB Principal Investigator
  • Nancy Lever, PhD, State UMB Co-PI/State CoP/Policy Lead
  • Jill Bohnenkamp, PhD, Lead Evaluator
  • Elizabeth Connors, PhD, CoIIN Lead and Improvement Advisor
  • Brittany Patterson, PhD, State Policy Analyst
  • Shawn Orenstein, MPH, Program Specialist
  • Sam Reaves, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Perrin Robinson, MS, Communications Manager
  • Taneisha Carter, BA, Research Assistant
  • Sylvia Huntley, EdD, Meeting Manager
  • Christina Huntley, MS, Program Assistant

Funding Source:

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child and Health Bureau (MCHB)

Project Partners:

The School Based Health Alliance (SBHA), The Center for Health and Healthcare in Schools (CHHCS)

Project Description:

The School-Based Health Alliance (“The Alliance”) and the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) were jointly awarded a cooperative agreement from the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) at the Health Resources and Services Administration to lead innovation and improvement in quality of care through school-based health services. The two organizations are eager to build on the momentum of the previous four years leading the School Health Services National Quality Initiative (NQI), and work collaboratively with their partners, including the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools at George Washington University, project advisors, and school health providers from across the nation to ensure the highest quality of care for children and adolescents receiving services in schools.

The 5-year agreement supports the partnering organizations’ efforts to improve the quality of care delivered by school-based health centers (SBHCs) and comprehensive school mental health systems (CSMHSs) nationwide. The Alliance, the NCSMH, and our partners will:

  • Review and refine current national performance measures;
  • Conduct three quality improvement collaboratives of cohorts comprising SBHCs and CSHMHs (be on the lookout for partnership opportunities Spring 2019);
  • Facilitate a Community of Practice for state agencies and state-level organizations to accelerate and spread innovation and improvement in quality care, best business practices, and policies to support school health services sustainability and growth;
  • Provide technical assistance to SBHCs, CSMHSs, and schools not participating in CoIIN cohorts, encouraging adoption of CoIIN-generated strategies and innovations;
  • Integrate contemporary and emerging child and adolescent behavioral health topics, issues and conditions (e.g., adverse childhood experiences, opioid use) and emerging practices (e.g., telehealth, trauma-informed practices, restorative justice, social/emotional learning) in performance measure refinement, screening tools, implementation guidance, webinar series, and resources; and
  • Support states to effectively assess and address social determinants of health in school-based health services.

Currently, the states of Rhode Island, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Arizona are working in our national Collaborative Innovation and Improvement Network (CoIIN) to improve school health services.

As part of the NQI, the NCSMH has developed the National School Mental Health Census and Performance Measures, which are available through the SHAPE System at www.theshapesystem.com.

Publication about school mental health performance measurement:
Connors, E. H., Stephan, S. H., Lever, N., Ereshefsky, S., Mosby, A., & Bohnenkamp, J. (2016). A national initiative to advance school mental health performance measurement in the US. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion9(1), 50–69. https://doi.org/10.1080/1754730X.2015.1123639

Contact:

Shawn Orenstein, sorenstein@som.umaryland.edu

Center for Safe and Supportive Schools

Project Staff:

  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, PI and Director
  • Nancy Lever, PhD, Director of Training
  • Tiffany Beason, PhD, Faculty
  • Joanna Prout, PhD, Lead Evaluator
  • Elissa Robinson, BA, Coordinator
  • Ellie Davis, Business Manager

Funding Source: 

SAMHSA

Project Partners:

Center for Safe and Supportive Schools, NCTSN Center for Trauma Care in Schools, Center for Childhood Resilience

Project Description:

The Center for Safe Supportive Schools (CS3) aims to address existing gaps in the widespread implementation of trauma-informed schools (TIS) through a partnership between the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH), the NCTSN Center for Trauma Care in Schools (CTCS; Massachusetts) and the Center for Childhood Resilience (CCR; Illinois). The CS3 has three goals:

  • Goal 1: Build state and district capacity to deliver multi-tiered, trauma-informed policies and programming, including universal (Tier 1), targeted (Tier 2) and intensive (Tier 3), within K-12 comprehensive school mental health (SMH) systems nationwide;
  • Goal 2: Support training and implementation of school-based trauma interventions that  attend to social determinants and injustices and engage and support specific marginalized populations, including youth of color and newcomer (refugee and immigrant) youth;
  • Goal 3: Integrate TIS into pre-service educator and mental health provider preparation.

Contact:

Elissa Robinson, elissa.robinson@som.umaryland.edu

Florida Disaster Response: Building Trauma-Responsive, Comprehensive School Mental Health Systems

Project Staff:

  • Jill Bohnenkamp, PhD, Principal Investigator
  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, Senior Consultant
  • Joanna Prout, PhD, Lead Evaluator
  • Shannon Nemer, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Yourdanos Bekele, BA, Research Assistant

Funding Source: 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Project Partners:

Florida Department of Health (FDOH); Bay, Calhoun, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson, and Liberty school districts of Florida

Description:

The NCSMH will collaborate with the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) and Bay, Calhoun, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson and Liberty school districts. This collaboration will enhance the six school districts’ capacity to provide evidence-based, trauma-responsive, comprehensive school mental health services for the students in public kindergarten through 12th grade schools in the six counties most adversely affected by Hurricane Michael. Specifically, school and community mental health providers will be trained in Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) and Bounce Back, evidence-based practices to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and behavioral problems, and to improve functioning, grades and attendance, peer and support, and coping skills. All school staff will receive Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training, with select staff being trained as YMHFA trainers to enhance sustainability. The NCSMH in partnership with the FDOH will provide on-going technical assistance to the six school district teams, including training in the National School Mental Health Curriculum and monthly technical assistance calls.

Contact:

Yourdanos Bekele, ybekele@som.umaryland.edu

Maryland Early Intervention Program (EIP)

Project Staff:

  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, Outreach and Education Co-Leader
  • Nancy Lever, PhD, Outreach and Education Co-Leader
  • Larraine Bernstein, MS, Outreach and Training Project Manager
  • Brittney Patterson, PhD, Outreach and Education Mental Health Clinician Consultant
  • Taneisha Carter, BA, Research Assistant

Funding Source: 

Maryland Department of Health, Behavioral Health Administration

Project Partners:

University of Maryland Medical System, University of Maryland School of Medicine, University of Maryland Baltimore County

Project Description:

The National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) leads the Outreach and Education efforts for EIP which emphasizes teaching providers how to identify signs of clinical high risk and early psychosis, familiarizing them with relevant evidence-based practices, and providing ample ways to refer individuals for further consultation and treatment. These efforts span settings and providers who serve the range of age groups that can be impacted by clinical high risk and early psychosis, including but not limited to intermediate and secondary schools (middle school and high school), higher education (community college, university/college), advocacy groups, and behavioral and medical treatment settings. The two main foci for the outreach and education team include: 1) training around early psychosis/risk for psychosis and the importance of early identification; and 2) outreach about available Maryland EIP clinical services.

Contact:

Larraine Bernstein, lbernste@som.umaryland.edu

Maryland Healthy Transitions

Project Title:

Maryland Healthy Transitions (MD-HT)

Project Staff:

  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, UMB Principal Investigator
  • Sylvia McCree-Huntley, EdD, Outreach & Education Lead
  • Joanna Prout, PhD, Research Manager
  • Perrin Robinson, MS, Research Specialist
  • Megan Prass, BS, Research Assistant

Funding Source:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Project Partners:

Maryland Behavioral Health Administration

Project Description:

Maryland Healthy Transitions (MD-HT) is a five-year grant funded by SAMHSA through the Now Is The Time initiative. The target population is transition-aged youth (TAY) between the ages of 16-25 with a serious mental health condition that impairs functioning. University of Maryland Baltimore conducts the program evaluation, in addition to providing outreach and education support. Each TAY works with a Transition Facilitator to create an individualized treatment plan. MD-HT goals include supporting TAY in in successfully transitioning to adult roles through supported employment, supported education and linking TAY to relevant services and supports. If you are looking for information on the MD-HT evaluation, visit Research & Evaluation

Contact:

Sylvia McCree-Huntley, shuntley@som.umaryland.edu

At Crossroads Community, Inc. (CCI) and Arundel Lodge Behavioral Health are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will be regularly post updates with announcements and resources to help staff, volunteers, and families effectively navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. During this crisis, protecting our clients is our top priority. If you have any questions about response to the crisis or need additional information, please contact both agencies directly:

Crossroads Community: Website | Phone: (410) 758-3050
Arundel Lodge: Website | Phone: 443-433-5900 

Resources for Coping with COVID-19

Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC)

Project Staff:

  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Nancy Lever, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Larraine Bernstein, MS, Coordinator
  • Elizabeth Connors, PhD, Consultant/Trainer
  • Shannon Nemer, PhD, Consultant/Trainer
  • Kris Scardamalia, PhD, Consultant/Trainer
  • Brittany Patterson, PhD, Consultant/Trainer
  • Tiffany Beason, PhD, Consultant/Trainer
  • Taneisha Carter, Research Assistant
  • Christina Walker, Budget Analyst & Contracts Manager

Funding Source: 

SAMHSA

Project Partners:

University of Maryland Medical System, University of Maryland School of Medicine, University of Maryland Baltimore County

Project Description:

The NCSMH has partnered with the MHTTC Network Coordinating Office at Stanford and several Regional Centers to lead the development of national school mental health training, including the National School Mental Health Curriculum, mental health literacy for educators and cultural responsiveness and equity. The NCSMH provides direct tailored technical assistance and training (T/TA) on the implementation of mental health services and supports in schools and school systems at a national level and to states and districts within regional MHTTCs. The NCSMH has conducted school mental health landscape surveys and interviews with key state leaders to inform school mental health progress and technical assistance needs. The NCSMH is working with Network Coordinating Office and the Regional MHTTCs to disseminate widely information related to high quality, sustainable school mental health and emerging school mental health topics.

Contact:

Larraine Bernstein, lbernste@som.umaryland.edu

National Center for Safe & Supportive Learning Environments

Project Staff:

  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, Principal Investigator
  • Nancy Lever, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Brittany Patterson, PhD, Faculty Resource Specialist

Funding Source: 

Department of Education (DOE)

Project Partners:

American Institutes for Research

Project Description:

The National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) has partnered with American Institutes for Research (AIR) to provide technical assistance to federally funded Promoting Student Resilience, Elementary and Secondary School Counseling, and Project PREVENT grantees. The primary purpose of these projects is to build and increase the capacity of local education agencies to address the comprehensive behavioral and mental health needs of students in communities exposed to trauma.

Contact:

Nancy Lever, nlever@som.umaryland.edu

State Opioid Response-ACRA

Program Staff: 

  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, Principal Investigator
  • Nancy Lever, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Melissa Ambrose, LSCW-C, Project Coordinator & MD State A-CRA Trainer

Funder:

SAMHSA

Program Description:

The Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA) is an evidence-based behavioral intervention that seeks to replace environmental contingencies that have supported alcohol or drug use with pro-social behaviors. Clinicians assume a flexible approach to reducing adolescent substance use by choosing from among 19 different A-CRA procedures that address such areas as problem-solving skills, communication skills, and relapse prevention.  In addition to the full 15 hour training, we also offer a modified 1 day training.

Documents:

Contact:

Melissa Ambrose: mambrose@som.umaryland.edu

 

State Opioid Response-Student Assistance Program

Program Staff: 

  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, Principal Investigator
  • Nancy Lever, PhD, Director of Training
  • Melissa Ambrose, MSW, Project Manager and Trainer
  • Janice Mace, LSCW-C, Project Coordinator
  • Jennifer Cox, MSW, Trainer
  • Kelly Willis, MSW, Trainer
  • Taneisha Carter, BA, Research Assistant

Program Partners:

Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Behavioral Health Administration and Maryland State Department of Education

Program Description:

This project seeks to build upon a foundation of Student Support Teams (SSTs) in schools to enhance training to better equip school staff to prevent student substance use, and to identify, intervene, and refer students with Substance Use Disorders (SUDs), including Opioid Use Disorders (OUDs), to appropriate treatment.  To achieve this effort two evidence-based trainings are being made available:

  1. Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI): This training is available to all middle and high school nurses and school counselors or other designated SST members.  The purpose of this training is to enhance their capacity to identify, support, and refer as needed students with substance use concerns. Trainees will learn the skills of substance use screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment in 3 engaging one-on-one simulations with a student. 
  2. Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) is a substance abuse prevention program proven to reduce the risks of alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse, and violence by targeting the major social and psychological factors that promote the initiation of substance use and other risky behaviors.   Botvin LifeSkills can be implemented at the elementary, middle and high school level in the classroom or with small groups.  This training is available to school counselors, health educators or other designated SST members.

Documents:

Contact:

Melissa Ambrose, mambrose@som.umaryland.edu

 

Youth Care Coordination Professional Development (YCC)

Project Staff: 

  • Nancy Lever, PhD, Principal Investigator
  • Cindy Schaeffer, PhD, Co-Investigator
  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, Faculty Consultant and 3C Lead  
  • Brittany Patterson, PhD, Faculty Trainer
  • Melissa Ambrose, MSW, 3C Online Resource Liaison
  • Larraine Bernstein, MS, Resource and Materials Lead

Funding Source: 

Office of Mental Health/Core Service Agency of Harford County

Project Partners: 

Behavioral Health Administration

Project description: 

The National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) team is supporting the Maryland Department of Health, Behavioral Health Administration in advancing and disseminating a comprehensive package of knowledge and best practices in youth care coordination to care coordinators and supervisors, as well as behavioral health professionals throughout Maryland.  Training content was informed by and developed through a collaborative process that meaningfully engaged experienced care coordinators and mental health professionals. The series of 17 modules is intended for care coordinators, those supervising care coordinators, administrators, behavioral health providers working with youth care coordinators, and other professionals wishing to increase their knowledge about youth care coordination.  The NCSMH provides ongoing technical assistance and consultation as needed through in-person meetings, live trainings, webinars, and conference calls and will develop resources to support comprehensive training related to youth care coordination.

Contact:

Melissa Ambrose, mambrose@som.umaryland.edu

Smart Choices (Gambling Prevention in Schools)

Project Staff:

  • Brittany Patterson, PhD, Principal Investigator

Project Description:

In partnership with the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling, the NCSMH is implementing and evaluating a youth gambling prevention program in several Baltimore City schools for students in grades 5, 7, 8 and 12.

Contact:

Brittany Patterson, bpatterson@som.umaryland.edu