Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, 33:657

School-Based Mental Health Programs and Services: Overview and Introduction to the Special Issue


    • Department of Psychology, Center for School-Based Mental Health ProgramsMiami University
    • Department of Psychology, Center for School-Based Mental Health ProgramsMiami University

DOI: 10.1007/s10802-005-7645-3

Cite this article as:
Paternite, C.E. J Abnorm Child Psychol (2005) 33: 657. doi:10.1007/s10802-005-7645-3


School-based mental health (SBMH) programs and services have grown progressively in the United States in the past two decades, related in part to increased recognition of their advantages and heightened federal support. However, SBMH is an emerging field, with many issues needing attention. This introductory article provides a context for the special issue by highlighting the importance of increased conceptual clarity about SBMH, enhanced mental health—education systems integration, and advancement of the SBMH research base. Key elements for success of SBMH programs and services are discussed, as underscored recently by the report of the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (2003) and other important initiatives. These elements include (a) school–family–community agency partnerships, (b) commitment to a full continuum of mental health education, mental health promotion, assessment, problem prevention, early intervention, and treatment, and (c) services for all youth, including those in general and special education. A synopsis of the articles in the special issue is provided, emphasizing their conceptual and empirical contributions to delivery and sustainability of effective mental health practices in schools.


school-based mental healthmental health promotionpreventioninterventioneffective practiceseducation of childrenpublic policy

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005