Core Components

Behavioral Health Response and Implementation

Behavioral Health Response and Implementation

A school’s behavioral health response typically involves a multi-step process accomplished by a range of school-based and community-based personnel, depending on the existing local resources.  

Step 1: Population Identification  

In the school responder model design and development process, participating stakeholders identify a population of focus that includes students who are both at-risk for suspension and/or expulsion and/or who have indicators of a potential need for behavioral health supports.   

Step 2: Screening 

Indicators of behavioral health needs are best identified using validated screening tools. School responder model screening processes typically involve a brief triage, that includes screening using a validated tool, completed by non-clinical staff.  

Step 3: Assessment and Services 

A student who flags on the screening tool should be referred to in-school or community-based clinical staff for further assessment. The assessment process is an in-depth and time-consuming healthcare service. It can identify the student’s clinical needs and should form the basis for a treatment plan.  

The inclusion of community-based behavioral health providers in the school responder model’s planning and development process ideally results in a comprehensive list of local behavioral health resources and establishes formal referral and communication processes between school responders and providers.