Student and school staff mental health — including social and emotional wellbeing — is central to a healthy school community. There is growing data to show the impact and value of providing mental health supports and services in schools.
Stronger Connections Grant
The purpose of the Stronger Connections Grant is to provide students safe, healthy, and supportive learning opportunities and environments.
- Stronger Connections Grant Guidance Document
- Stronger Connections Grant Application
- Stronger Connections Grant Letter
- Stronger Connections Grant Affirmation of Consultation with Nonpublic Schools
- Missouri Comprehensive School Mental Health Training Sign Up
- DESE Stronger Connections Grant Webinar | Webinar Slides
School-Based Mental Health (SBMH) Recruitment and Retention Initiative for Institutions of Higher Education
The purpose of the SBMH Recruitment and Retention Initiative is to increase the number of SBMH professionals to meet the mental health needs of Missouri public school students.
- SBMH Recruitment and Retention Initiative Guidance Document
- SBMH Recruitment and Retention Initiative Application
- SBMH Recruitment and Retention Initiative Memo
Immediate Responsive Services Grant (IRSG)
The purpose of the IRSG is to increase student access to mental health resources.
Mental Health Awareness Curriculum
Section 170.307, RSMo requires LEAs to provide mental health awareness training in Missouri schools. This training must be provided as part of the districts health and/or physical education curriculum.
Students graduating in the 2022-23 school year, and each year after must receive a minimum of two hours of mental health awareness training that aligns with DESE’s Social-Emotional Learning Standards and the requirements of 5 CSR 20-200.275 Mental Health Awareness Training. Mental health awareness training must include the following domains:
- Defining Mental Health
- Identifying Strategies for Achieving and Maintaining Sound Mental Wellness
- Decreasing the Stigma of Mental Health Concerns
- Recognizing How to Connect to Services When Needed
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.
Additional Best Practice Resources
- Social-Emotional Learning Initiatives in Missouri
- Trauma-Informed Schools Initiative
- Suicide Prevention & 988 Guide for Missouri Schools
- Department of Health and Senior Services - School Health
- Department of Mental Health
- MO-CPAP Schools- Resource Hub and Consultation Request
- National Center for School Mental Health
- Project AWARE