What Is the Role of Schools in the Treatment of Children’s Mental Illness?

  • Sharon A. Hoover
  • Jeff Q. Bostic
  • Libby K. Nealis


Impacts from mental illness are debilitating for children, their families, and their communities. Comprehensive school mental health can provide services for all children, while supporting the school’s broader mission of improving academic outcomes and reducing disruptive behavior and suspensions. Universal mental health screening in schools can be enhanced by allying families in this process and configuring viable mechanisms for evaluation and treatment. Schools can effectively provide comprehensive mental health care with multitiered supports adjusted to fit the frequently changing needs of students and their families. Evaluation of school mental health interventions can illuminate impacts on academic and peer functioning, impairing symptoms, and well-being. Thoughtful evaluation helps refine programming and clarify cost-effectiveness. School mental health sustainability necessitates coordinated funding across multiple systems and payers, including health, mental health, education, special education, and public (Medicaid) and private insurance.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharon A. Hoover
    • 1
  • Jeff Q. Bostic
    • 2
  • Libby K. Nealis
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryMedStar Georgetown University HospitalWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.School Social Work Association of AmericaLondonUSA

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