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Advancing Comprehensive School Mental Health Systems: Guidance from the Field

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A partnership of national school mental health leaders and organizations has contributed to the development of this document on school mental health systems, including:

A Collaborative Effort

This resource synthesizes the knowledge and guidance of over 75 experts nationally.

Ultimately, this resource is a foundational document in the field to help guide local, state, and national efforts to strengthen school mental health efforts and to start to understand and bring consensus to the quality domains of school mental health.

Report Contributors

Federal Departments/Agencies

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education,
Norris Dickard, Paul Kesner and Kimberly Lights
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Programs,
Rene Bradley

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Intergovernmental and External 
Affairs/Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives,
Ben O’Dell
Office of the Secretary/Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation,
Joel Dubenitz and Pamala Trivedi
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
Holly Hunt and Zanie Leroy
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services,
Liz Clark, Karen Matsuoka and Deirdra Stockmann
Health Resources and Services Administration,
Aite Aigbe, Trina Anglin, Alfred Delena, William England, Dawn Levinson, Lorah Ludwig, Carlos Mena and Alex Ross
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration,
Tanvi Ajmera, Andrea Alexander, Gary Blau, Ingrid Donato, Lora Fleetwood, Larke Huang, Eric Lulow, Joyce Sebian, Elizabeth Sweet, Wendie Veloz, Melodye Watson and Ekaterina Zoubak

U.S. Department of the Interior
Bureau of Indian Education,

Teresia Paul

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs/Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention,
Kathryn Barry and Kathy Mitchell


Connecticut Department of Children and Families,
Tim Marshall
District of Columbia Department of Behavioral Health, 
Charnetta Scott
Maryland State Department of Education,
Reginald Burke
New Hampshire Department of Education,
Mary Steady
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services,
Terri Grant
Department of Public Instruction, 
Lauren Holahan
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services,
Sherry Peters and Shannon Fagan
Tennessee Department of Education,
Sara Smith
Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, 
Keri Virgo
Vermont Department of Public Health and Mental Health, 
Laurin Kasehagen (CDC Epidemiologist assigned to Vermont)
West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, 
Jackie Payne
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, 
Monica Wrightman
School Districts/Schools Adams-Friendship Area School District (WI),
Crystal Holmes
Anne Arundel County Public Schools (MD),
Ginny Dolan
Ashland School District (WI),
Greta Blancarte
Baltimore County Public Schools (MD), 
Lisa Selby
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (NC), 
Kerry Sherrill
District of Columbia Prep Charter School (DC),
Raymond Weeden
District of Columbia Public Schools (DC),
Deitra Bryant-Mallory
Hennepin County/Minneapolis Public Schools (MN), 
Mark Sander
McDowell County Schools (WV), 
Perry Blankenship
Methuen Public Schools (MA), 
John Crocker
Monument Academy Public Charter School (DC),
Emily Bloomfield
New York Office of School Health, 
Scott Bloom
Somerset County Public Schools (MD),
Tracey Cottman

Other Organizations

American Institutes for Research,
Karen Francis, Beth Freeman and Frank Rider
American Public Health Association,
Kelly Nelson
Basset Healthcare Network,
Chris Kjolhede
Breaking the Cycle,
Sadia Coleman
Center for Health and Healthcare in Schools, George Washington University,
Olga Acosta Price, Rachel Sadlon, Linda Sheriff and Eme Udoh
Communities for Just Schools Fund,
Jaime Koppel
Connecticut Association of School Based Health Centers,
Jesse White-Fresé
Dignity in Schools Campaign,
Zakiya Sankara-Jabar
Family-Run Executive Directors Leadership Association,
Jane Walker
Flint Hills Special Education Cooperative,
Allison Anderson-Harder
Management and Training Innovations,
Beth Stroul
Medstar Georgetown,
Jeff Bostic
Midwest PBIS Network,
Kelly Perales
Montgomery County Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health,
Robyn Horsey
National Association for Rural Mental Health,
Paul Mackie
National Association of School Nurses,
Susan Hoffman
National Association of School Psychologists,
John Kelly
National Association of State Directors of Special Education,
Joanne Cashman and Mariola Rosser
National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors,
Aaron Walker
National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, Pennsylvania Representative,
Shannon Fagan
National Center for School Mental Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine,
Tiffany Beason, Yourdanos Bekele, Jill Bohnenkamp, Rachel Bolan, Dan Camacho, Elizabeth Connors, Dana Cunningham, Sharon Hoover, Vinetra King, Nancy Lever, Stephanie Moore, Brittany Parham, Kris Scardamalia and Rachel Siegal
National Conference on State Legislatures, 
Tahra Johnson and Margaret Wile
National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health,
Lynda Gargan
National Governors Association,
Akeiisa Coleman and Sandra Wilkniss
National Rural Health Association,
Lolita Jadotte
Please Pass the Love,
Jennifer Ulie-Wells
RAND Corporation,
Brad Stein
School-Based Health Alliance,
John Schlitt
School Social Work Association of America,
Libby Nealis


Appalachian State University,
Kurt Michael
Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development,
Neal Horen
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,
Catherine Bradshaw
University of Maryland School of Social Work,
Shannon Robshaw
University of South Carolina,
Mark Weist


Bainum Family Foundation,
Noel Bravo, Rozita Green and Nisha Sachdev

Related Products

Project Title:

Partnerships for Advancing Comprehensive School Mental Health Systems

Project Staff:

  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Nancy Lever, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Larraine Bernstein, MS, Policy Analyst
  • Shawn Orenstein, MPH, Program and Policy Manager
  • Taneisha Carter, BA, Senior Clinical Research Assistant
  • Christina Walker, MS, Budget Analyst & Contracts Manager

Funding Source:

Bainum Family Foundation

Project Partners:

The NCSMH, in partnership with the Bainum Family Foundation, worked with six strategic partners to support the uptake and advancement of comprehensive school mental health systems. The organizations and their developed products are listed below:

Project Description:

The NCSMH will collaborate with strategic partners including national associations, youth and family organizations, state, local, and national partners to support them in the development of customized products to support uptake and implementation of approaches to advance comprehensive school mental health systems (CSMHS). The products will be tailored to specific audiences, highlighting the key messages and relevant action steps outlined in Advancing Comprehensive School Mental Health Systems: Guidance from the Field,  a recently released resource developed by national school mental health leaders and organizations.


Shawn Orenstein,

Young school students standing together outside