Original Paper

School Mental Health

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 84-98

First online:

The Impact of School Mental Health on Student and School-Level Academic Outcomes: Current Status of the Research and Future Directions

  • Shannon M. SuldoAffiliated withDepartment of Psychological and Social Foundations, University of South Florida Email author 
  • , Matthew J. GormleyAffiliated withDepartment of Education and Human Services, Lehigh University
  • , George J. DuPaulAffiliated withDepartment of Education and Human Services, Lehigh University
  • , Dawn Anderson-ButcherAffiliated withCollege of Social Work, The Ohio State University

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This manuscript summarizes areas of school mental health (SMH) research relevant to the interplay between students’ academic and social–emotional outcomes. After advancing a multidimensional conceptualization of academic success at the levels of individual students and schools, we summarize observational and intervention studies that connect students’ mental health to their academic achievement, with acknowledgment of the bidirectional relationship. Then, current and future directions of SMH research are discussed, including (a) the impact of SMH health initiatives and services on schools’ achievement, (b) the need to address the mental health of historically neglected subgroups of students, and (c) interdisciplinary collaborations necessary to support enhanced outcomes. Based on the findings from these literature integrations, we conclude with recommendations and implications for research and practice.


Student success Impact of school mental health prevention and intervention Research directions