Mental Health Resources for School Staff and Students

Mental Health Resources for School Staff and Students

Throughout this school year, DESE continued to receive feedback that one of the biggest issues facing our schools and teachers were challenges around student behavior. Using focus groups and surveys, DESE gathered data to determine specifically what student behaviors teachers, administrators, and counselors were experiencing.

Virtual Speaker Series: Relationships, Behaviors, and Social-Emotional Learning

Based on the data received from focus groups and surveys, DESE developed the Relationships, Behaviors, and Social-Emotional Learning: Best Practices to Support Successful Students and Effective Educators bi-weekly speaker series to address challenging behavioral areas.

Professional Development Videos: Strategies for Responding to Student Behavior

DESE worked with 15 regional teachers of the year, semifinalists, and teachers of the year to create a series of 35 short professional development videos to address common student behavior challenges in the following six categories: exhibiting disrespect, lack of respect, showing pride, partnering with parents, feelings of apathy, and lack of motivation.

Mental Health First Aid Training for School Staff and Students

DESE is using federal relief funds to partner with Mental Health First Aid Missouri — operated by the Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH) and the Missouri Institute of Mental Health (MIMH) — to provide Mental Health First Aid trainings to schools across the state at no cost. These skills-based programs give adults the tools they need to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges in both fellow adults (the standard Mental Health First Aid training), as well as in adolescents ages 12-18 (the Youth Mental Health First Aid — or YMHFA — training).

MHFA trainings, both adult and youth, are now available. The trainings can be delivered onsite, virtually, or in a hybrid format. Trainings take approximately one day to complete. MIMH notes that the trainings are appropriate for a broad range of adults, including educators, school leaders, support staff, volunteers, and other school stakeholders.

For more information about this effort, visit For questions about MHFA and the trainings available, contact Rachel Taube or Amy Bartels at

Additional Best Practice Resources