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Needs Assessment & Resource Mapping

needs assessment is a collaborative process used by a system to identify:

  • gaps between current and desire conditions
  • system strengths

needs assessment allows a district or school to:

  • identify and address mental health needs that are the most pressing
  • understand how well existing services and supports and meeting student needs
  • identify and leverage strengths
  • inform priorities and actions for school mental health programming

Resource mapping is an active process to identify, visually represent, and share information about internal and external supports and services to inform effective utilization of resources. The resource map or guide that results from this process is often based on your needs assessment and other informaiton about strengths and needs in your school and community. A resource map may also be referred to as an asset map or environmental scan.

The School Mental Health Quality Guides is a series developed by the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) for The School Health Assessment and Performance Evaluation (SHAPE) System. The Quality Guides provide guidance to school mental health systems to advance the quality of their services and supports. The guides contain background information on each domain, best practices, possible action steps, examples from the field, and resource guidance.

All resources referenced in the Quality Guide, along with many others, can be found in the SHAPE system resource center.