School Reintegration Post-Psychiatric Hospitalization: Protocols and Procedures Across the Nation
Youth returning to schools following psychiatric hospitalization are at high risk for mental health crises and rehospitalization. Yet, little is known about the current practices schools use to support student reintegration. This study administered a self-report questionnaire to 133 school psychologists across the nation to identify the prevalence and scope of school reintegration protocols and procedures in middle and high schools. Sixteen percent of respondents identified having a formal (i.e., written) school reintegration protocol in place, 45% reported having an informal procedure, and the remaining 38% reporting no such protocol or procedure. Respondents identified several components to successful reintegration including (1) establishing communication with the hospital, (2) meeting with the family prior to the student’s return, and (3) developing an individualized re-entry plan. Having a school reintegration protocol was positively associated with perceived quality of services for students returning from psychiatric hospitalization. Implications for schools considering adopting a consistent strategy for supporting students during this transitionary time are discussed.
KeywordsSchool reintegration Psychiatric hospitalization Middle school High school School mental health
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was conducted in compliance with the Institutional Review Board Office of Human Research Ethics and all participants completed informed consent.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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