School-based Mental Health

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School-based Mental Health

Schools face resource challenges

Public schools face persistent pressure to serve as the central point for addressing children’s overall health and well-being. Behavioral health and access to care challenges were a growing concern affecting school populations even before the Covid pandemic.

Youth are experiencing behavioral health crises at an alarming rate, and schools are struggling with insufficient resources for students to receive the necessary person-centered care and support. Sustainable funding streams, including options like Medicaid and alternate funding methods, could help schools effectively cover expenses. New temporary funding streams are available (e.g., CMS School Based Health Services Program, Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, and multiple state funding initiatives) but schools often lack the necessary infrastructure, administrative support, and awareness of community resources to effectively utilize these funds.

Our Clients

HMA works with state and local education agencies, school districts, county offices of education, departments of public instruction, social service agencies, public health, school boards, and family and parent organizations to support school-based mental health initiatives. 

Through innovations in community partnerships, evidence-based programming, and design that support healthy children and promising futures, there is opportunity to enhance school outcomes. Students’ well-being and mental health directly impact their overall educational experience and achievement. By addressing these challenges and investing in comprehensive BH support within schools, we can help schools design an environment that furthers the well-being and success of all students.

HMA can help school systems:

Add capacity for project management support for whole-child approaches to improved health

Reduce duplication of services

Assess opportunities to better leverage new and existing resources and dollars through blended and braided funding and existing community-based supports to enhance utilization

Strengthen infrastructure and awareness and establish collaborations and partnerships to ensure effective utilization of available funding and shared resources

Break down bureaucratic silos and promote interagency cooperation

Improve information and data sharing

Emphasize preventative behavioral and physical care

Assess strategies for workforce shortages

Develop and implement evidence-based integrated care clinics within schools

Deliver training for administration, staff, parents, and community partners that helps achieve successful adoption

Implement targeted initiatives to address ongoing and pervasive stigma surrounding behavioral health, particularly in specific cultures and communities

HMA has the right team

With our expertise and collaborative approach, we empower schools and school districts to proactively address the youth behavioral health crisis and create a supportive educational environment for all students.

Our team members have extensive careers in school-based mental health, direct clinical behavioral health practice, healthcare systems, as well as government social services and public health, community organizations, and school-based leadership. Our experts have worked with every type of stakeholder, gaining invaluable insights and understanding. We meet schools where they are and help to right-size service offerings. HMA can bring a fresh perspective on school-based services, and help you shift from reactive to proactive.

Contact our experts:

Annalisa Baker

Annalisa Baker

Associate Principal

Along with a comprehensive understanding of the behavioral healthcare continuum, Annalisa Baker’s experience includes business operations, project management, finance, and … Read more
Michael Butler headshot

Michael Butler

Senior Consultant

During his career, Michael Butler has directed hundreds of program evaluation, organizational development, and technical assistance projects in a wide … Read more
John Eller

John Eller


John Eller is a seasoned executive with more than 23 years of service in public administration and health and human … Read more
Jennifer Hodgson

Jennifer Hodgson


Jennifer Hodgson is a licensed marriage and family therapist who maintained a private practice and taught in higher education for … Read more
Trish Marsik

Trish Marsik


Trish Marsik has extensive experience supporting providers, healthcare organizations, and state and federal governments to provide quality behavioral healthcare.  Prior … Read more