School-Based Health Centers | School-Linked Health Centers | Expanded School Mental Health Programs
In the past decade, there has been exponential growth in school-based
health centers, rising to around 1,500 centers located in nearly
every state. About 60% of these centers are said to include
mental health services (National Assembly on School-Based Health Care 2000). Centers typically are staffed by a multidisciplinary
team of providers and are funded by a variety of mechanisms (e.g.,
grants, contracts, state and local allocations, fee-for-service).
Centers with mental health practitioners can provide a broad range
of mental health services including assessment; individual, group,
and family psychotherapy; pharmacotherapy; and prevention and health
promotion activities. Mental health services delivered in school
settings offer a number of advantages, including enhanced access
(Diala et al. 2002; Weist et al. 1999),
reduced stigma (Nabors and Reynolds 2000), increased
generalization and maintenance of treatment effects (Weare 2000), enhanced clinical productivity (Flaherty and Weist 1999), and more ecologically grounded roles for mental
health clinicians (Atkins et al. 2001).