School Community Partnership for Mental Health

School Community Partnership for
Mental Health
Milwaukee Wisconsin
Audrey Potter, PhD
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Focus in Our Work
School Community Partnership for Mental Health
Historical background 2003-2009
Study by The Counseling Center of Milwaukee (Pathfinders)
showed poor access to mental health services for youth
There is no cohesive system to allow community mental health
providers to collaborate with schools and families to meet the
mental health needs of students
Milwaukee’s high poverty rate, the cultural stigma of mental
illness and high levels of bussing result in families having great
difficulty accessing mental health services and collaboration with
the schools
Reimbursement policies and rates create barriers
School/Agency Collaboration
Developed model which parallels MPS efforts
- Positive Behavioral Intervention System (PBIS)
- Three-tiered system of instructional and behavioral
supports (including social-emotional skill development)
- Enhanced parent engagement
 Education of agencies and school staff on common goals, terms
and evidence-based strategies
2009 – Present
Four community-based agencies joined with four Milwaukee
Public Schools
Necessary steps:
-Support of unions
-Convey information to and request support from
community funders
-Develop and implement research regarding outcomes
-Design referral system for services
Community health workers at schools
School-based project coordinator and agency coordinator
Milwaukee/Wisconsin Partners
Agencies Involved:
Youth Mental Health Connections/The Counseling Center of
Milwaukee (Pathfinders)/Milwaukee Public Schools/Milwaukee
Health Department/UW-Milwaukee School of Public Health/
Milwaukee County/Medical College of Wisconsin/Department
of Health and Human Services for Wisconsin/HMOs/Planning
Council for Health and Human Services/Greater Milwaukee
Foundation/Kubly Foundation/Faye McBeath/MPS Safe
Schools-Healthy Students
Model Design
Designed model to:
-integrate community-based mental health agencies into
schools to provide consultation & direct services
-train school staff and parents about conditions/activities
that support mental health and school success
-coordinate care with primary health care providers,
psychiatrists, agency providers and schools
-develop policy and financial solutions that support
increased mental health services
SCPMH Targeted Outcomes
Sooner than typical access to consultation and therapeutic
services from community mental health providers
More than typical number of contacts (9) with mental health
providers resulting in fewer symptoms or mental health concerns
Increased teacher consultation with mental health providers
Improvement in attendance and reduction in suspensions for
identified students
Improvement in academic achievement of identified students
Connection to Transition
Improved social and emotional skills
Greater likelihood of positive relationship with significant adult
Greater school success
Improved parent/teacher/school interactions
Greater self-advocacy