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Coordinated Student Services

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Office of School Support Services

School Based Mental Health

Overview - September, 2006

For the past seven years the Long Beach Unified School District has worked closely with the Department of Mental Health to bring mental health services to students and families in need at several Long Beach schools. As the program enters its eighth year, the School Based Mental Health Collaborative has expanded from an initial 4 schools to its current status of over 60 schools.

The Long Beach Unified School District (District) School Based Mental Health Program is a collaborative effort between the District and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH). The goal of the interagency program has been to establish a comprehensive, coordinated approach to providing mental health and other support services on school sites. The model supports strengthening families and communities by developing strong partnerships between mental health, the school, county departments, and community based agencies. Services are designed to enhance the student and family’s ability to function in the school, work place, home and community.

The model is consistent with System of Care, and Family Preservation philosophy, principles,and approach. Mental health agencies work collaboratively with the schools and community agencies to coordinate and integrate wraparound services into the mental health model. Mental health services will be accessible, provided in the least restrictive environment, such as on the school campus, at the child’s home, or in the mental health clinic. Services will be delivered in a culturally competent and sensitive manner.

Selection of school sites includes the following criteria:

  1. Schools with high percentage of free/reduced lunches.
  2. Schools that have a high incidence of students with behavioral and emotional difficulties.
  3. Schools with minimum or no current support services.
  4. Schools with space for therapists to provide services to students in a mannerthat safeguards confidentiality.
  5. School principals who express a strong interest and willingness to work collaboratively with the program.

Each school participating in the program is assigned a DMH contracted mental health provider, who will serve as the lead mental health agency. The lead agency will have primary responsibility for providing services. However, if the lead agency does not have the capacity to provide the service, the lead agency will link the student and family to another DMH mental health agency participating in the program.

Long Beach Unified School District • 1515 Hughes Way, Long Beach CA 90810 • (562) 997-8000 • www.lbschools.net