School-Based Mental Health Services

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Reduce Referrals to Special Education by Treating Children’s Mental Health Needs in Schools

The Children’s Aid Society believes that innovative funding models should be used to train faculty and to provide school-based mental health services to the more than 90,000 children in New York State who suffer from serious mental illness but do not receive treatment. To treat these children’s often disruptive, threatening, aggressive and suicidal behaviors, we recommend: (1) using special education funding and partnering with private organizations to establish school-based mental health and family support service teams in all elementary and middle schools, and (2) employing service teams to assess all special education referrals for possible mental health treatment before referring children with behavior problems for special education placement.

For further inquiries please contact: The Children’s Aid Society Office of Public Policy and Client Advocacy (212) 358-8930