Mental Health Resources for School Staff and Students

Mental Health Resources for School Staff and Students

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.

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.

Immediate Responsive Services Grant (IRSG)

The purpose of the IRSG is to increase student access to mental health resources.

Stronger Connections Grant

DESE is seeking public comment on the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act Stronger Connections grant program. This program focuses on meeting the mental health needs of students.

A requirement of the grant program is that at least 95 percent of Missouri’s grant allocation be sent to high-need local education agencies (LEAs) on a competitive basis. DESE is seeking comment on the definition of high-need LEA and on the grant process. Comments are welcome through 5:00 p.m. on December 12, 2022, and will be submitted anonymously.

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