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Enhancing Collaboration within and across Disciplines to Advance Mental Health Programs in Schools

  • Nancy Rappaport
  • David Osher
  • Ellen Greenberg Garrison
  • Corinne Anderson-Ketchmark
  • Kevin Dwyer
Part of the Issues in Clinical Child Psychology book series (ICCP)

Schools across the country are increasingly utilizing the expertise of multiple disciplines to enhance the mental health of their students and address barriers to learning through the provision of a range of services in schools. School mental health providers, including nurses, counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, special educators, and their clinical Partners—psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychiatric nurses—have a unique opportunity to address the mental health needs of students. The continuum of mental health services offered support, primary prevention (e.g., universal interventions targeting bullying, abuse, and violence), early intervention (e.g., counseling for students whose behavior indicates that they are at risk), and intensive treatment for students with severe and/or chronic problems (e.g., proven therapies, crisis intervention, and wraparound supports). Collaboration is critical to avoid competition for scarce resources, fragmentation of services, needless duplication of effort, and the potential isolation of service providers. To ensure more comprehensive, cost-effective, and accessible services, collaboration must involve concerted efforts by all stakeholders

Collaboration to enhance overall student adjustment and academic performance arises between and among mental health professionals in several contexts. First, it occurs between and among various school-hired mental health personnel working in the school setting. Second, if systems are to coordinate family-friendly services, collaboration can take place between and among school-hired personnel and mental health professionals offering services in the community. And third, collaboration can increasingly be found in school settings among school-hired and community-based mental health professionals working with other educators, families, and clinicians in school health clinics, or as adjunct school staff members in intensive special programs. For those community mental health professionals working within the school, the overall degree of collaboration with school-hired personnel and with students and their families may vary as a function of how well integrated they are into the school's culture and daily operations and how well they align their services to the school's existing services

This chapter presents collaboration as a vital tool for effective mental health service delivery in school settings. It describes the critical components of collaboration, including the involvement of school administrators, educators, and school-and community-based mental health personnel, and most importantly, of the students and their families. Attention is also directed to the need to recognize and overcome potential obstacles to collaboration and to address such critical issues as school policy, educational leadership, and school culture

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy Rappaport
    • 1
  • David Osher
    • 2
  • Ellen Greenberg Garrison
    • 3
  • Corinne Anderson-Ketchmark
    • 4
  • Kevin Dwyer
    • 2
  1. 1.Teen Health Center, Cambridge, Rindge and Latin SchoolCambridge
  2. 2.American Institutes for ResearchWashington
  3. 3.American Psychological AssociationWashington
  4. 4.School Social Workers Association of AmericaNorthlake

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