School-Based Mental Health Tools

According to The School-Based Health Alliance, in order to have the greatest positive impact, school-based mental health services should be fully blended into the framework of the school and should follow a few best practices.

School-based mental health services should:

  • build from and complement a positive school climate.

  • be universally available to all students, especially prevention and early intervention services.

  • come from mental health providers who work with school staff in teams.

  • have mental health providers who serve as a resource to teachers and other school staff.

  • be provided to school districts in partnership with county and community agencies.

  • be organized into a three tier system: universal, targeted, and intensive.

In order to support your district’s efforts to build infrastructure and staff capacity within these best practices, we have identified vetted tools and provide them here to support your school-based mental health program.

Suicide Prevention Resources

Suicide Prevention: Resources to assist with compliance of AB 2246 and AB 1767

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention- Model Policy

California Suicide Audit 2020

SAMHSA Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools

K-12 Toolkit for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention - Heard Alliance

After a Suicide Toolkit for Schools

Role of High School Teachers

Suicide Resources in Different Languages

How to help your child after a suicide - Spanish

How to help your child after a suicide - Tagalog

Trauma-Informed Practices in Schools

The National Association of School Psychologists has pointed out that trauma informed schools promote: Feelings of physical, social, and emotional safety in students. These resources will help you develop a shared understanding among staff about the impact of trauma and adversity on students and staff. Trauma-Sensitive Schools Training Implementation Guide

Trauma-Sensitive Schools Training Handout Packet Educator Self-Care For Extraordinary Times: A Trauma-Sensitive Guide to Educator Wellness

School-Based Health Centers:

These are centers of health in schools where students are based. They can offer a full range of age-appropriate health care services, typically including: primary medical care, mental/behavioral health care, dental/oral health care, health education, substance abuse counseling, case management and nutrition education.
California School-Based Health Alliance

School-Based Health Alliance


School mental health screening is a systematic process to identify the strengths and needs of students. It supports the identification of students who may be experiencing or are at risk of experiencing social, emotional, and/or behavioral difficulties. The following national resources provide screening measure examples and guidance in how to support youth with early identification strategies.

SAMHSA Ready, Set, Go, Review: Screening for Behavioral Health in Schools Guidance

Defending Childhood State Initiative: Guidance on Trauma Screening in Schools

SHAPE: School Mental Health Quality Guide - Screening

Mental Health America Screening Tools

Medi-Cal Reimbursement:

As schools and local educational agencies seek out ways to fund and sustain school based mental health services, Medi-Cal funded services have the potential to grow significantly in schools. The following resources provide information to support third party billing and the development of Medi-Cal funded mental health support.

California Children's Trust: Practical Guide for Financing Social, Emotional and Mental Health in Schools

California School Based Health Alliance Funding: School Based Health Care

Dept. of Health Care Services: Medi-Cal/LEA Program Provider Manual

LGBTQ Resources:

Model LEA Policy on Transgender and Nonbinary Students

Los Angeles LGBT Center

Gender Support Plan

LGBTQ+ Terminology/ Pronoun Best Practices

2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health


The Trevor Project Support

Trevor Project Stories of Pride

If you need additional information or have any questions, please reach out to your Regional WISP Liaison.


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