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Quality Assessment and Quality Improvement Resources

We are pleased to offer here a number of very useful quality assessment and quality improvement resources developed by the University of Maryland Center for School Mental Health (CSMH)

Many of these resources have been developed via an extensive, three-site (Baltimore City, Dallas, Delaware), federally-funded, practice-based research project. These tools reflect the state-of-the art in quality assessment and improvement resources for advancing school mental health.   As part of this project, training resources and materials were developed for 40 indicators of quality in school mental health services, and these materials are provided here for your benefit.

Included first below are some Overview documents.  Thereafter, you will find PowerPoints that have been developed for each indicator.  These PowerPoints provide background information, a menu of suggested activities, helpful hints, web resources, and references.  The PowerPoints are intended to provide a better understanding of each indicator and to assist with action planning to improve quality related to that indicator.

Overview Resources:  Quality Assessment and Quality Improvement

ADHD Resource Manual (CSMH) 
Depression Resource Manual (CSMH)
These manuals were developed by faculty and staff at the Center for School Mental Health as part of Maryland's Grant for the Integration of Schools and Mental Health Systems funded by the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools of the United States Department of Education.  Many of the materials in this manual were taken from a NIMH funded project under the direction of Dr. Mark Weist entitled, “Enhancing Quality in School Mental Health." Additional materials were developed by various mental health agencies across the nation and are available for free online (see individual handouts and table of contents for references).

Choosing the Right Treatment- What Families Need to Know about Evidence-Based Practices: This guide was designed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to inform families on evidence-based practice (EBPs) in children's mental health and to share information on an array of treatment and support options.

Enhancing Quality in Expanded School Mental Health (ESMH):  A Resource Guide:  This guide provides a literature review and includes a listing of resources and references for each indicator.  It can be utilized to enhance understanding of each of the indicators.

Free Assessment Measures (CSMH): There are a number of assessment measures for clinicians that are available for free online. Attached is a list of recommended clinical measures that can be used in school mental health programs to help assess symptoms of clinical disorders (e.g. depression, anxiety, ADHD). Also included are measures to assess school climate that may also be useful for school mental health. Program Directory: was created by the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP), which is composed of representatives from 12 Federal agencies that support programs and services focusing on youth.The FindYouthInfo Program Directory features evidence-based programs whose purpose is to prevent and/or reduce delinquency or other problem behaviors in young people. Currently, you can search the directory by risk factor or protective factor.Mental Health Planning and Evaluation Template (MHPET): The National Assembly on School Based Health Care developed the Mental Health Planning and Evaluation Template (MHPET) in partnership with the Center for School Mental Health (CSMH) to systematically assess and improve the quality of mental health services delivered within school-based settings. The MHPET is a 34 indicator measure that operates as an assessment tool to target areas of strength and improvement in school-based mental health quality.  The MHPET is organized into eight dimensions. The NASBHC offers an online evaluation process for the MHPET. To link to the paper version of the survey click here and to link to a fact sheet about the survey click here. 

Quick Guide to Clinical Techniques for Common Child and Adolescent Mental Health Problems:  As part of their practice-based research into quality assessment and quality improvement, CSMH researchers developed a concise guide of clinical techniques for use by school-based clinicians.  The manual reflects attention to Quality Indicator 11 - Utilization of Evidence-Based Practices - and the proven strategies in this user-friendly manual are offered here in hopes of improving the quality of your own school-based clinical work.  The manual offers a review of basic cognitive behavioral skills that have been shown to be effective in the treatment of anxiety, depression, disruptive behaviors, and attentional problems. 

Summary of Recognized Evidence-Based Programs Implemented by Expanded School Mental Health Programs (CSMH): The list of evidence-based programs generated for this table were identified as part of the Center for School Mental Health’s National Survey of Expanded School Mental Health Programs (2007).  156 ESMH Programs from across the country responded to the survey.  Only evidence-based programs that received at least one recognition on one of ten evidence-based program registries (see the CSMH's Summary of Evidence Based Program Registries) were included in the table. 

The School Mental Health Quality Assessment Questionnaire (Weist et al., 2006) is a research-based measure designed to help clinicians, administrators, and others invested in school mental health to assess strengths and weaknesses within their school mental health services and programming.  Findings from the SMHQAQ can assist in identifying priority areas for improving school mental health services.

The SMHQAQ Quality Indicator PowerPoints: accompany the SMHQAQ, providing the following  resources for each indicator: background, menu of suggested activities, helpful hints, web resources, and references.

The Ten Step Action Planning Guide for Quality Improvement in School Mental Health provides a step-by-step framework for effectively advancing the quality of mental health services and programming within a school or district.

The School Mental Health Quality Improvement Action Plan Worksheet complements the Ten Step Action Planning Guide and can be used by teams to develop mental health action plans for their school.

Quality Reference List: This list compiled by the CSMH offers key references related to school mental health and quality improvement.