About the Program
Falling under our Adult and Children Clinical Services, the School Based Mental Health Program provides support through three tiers of services to students, teachers, staff and families. The program is funded through the Department of Behavioral Health’s expansion program to meet the mental health needs of students throughout the District of Columbia. Since fall 2019, the program’s licensed clinicians have partnered with 18 public and charter schools in Washington, D.C. School-based therapists are integrated into school resources and partner with the administrators, educators and mental health providers to support students’ mental health needs and provide access to resources.
School-based therapists support their school communities across three tiers of service. Tier 1 services include promotion and primary prevention services and support, such as staff professional development and classroom-based social emotional learning opportunities. Tier 2 services include focused interventions for a smaller school population, such as specific support groups and consultation with families and staff who work with identified children. Tier 3 services are a more intensive level of support for students who have been identified as in need of individualized therapy to improve their functioning at school and home, and in the community.
Additionally, the program hosts Camp Glow Up, a summer camp that began at the beginning of the pandemic as a continuance of care but now is offered as part of the program’s tiered services. The camp works with students of all ages who have clinical mental health issues to help them process trauma and address behavioral concerns. Each week, the campers receive supplies such as crayons, kinetic sand, stickers and fun prizes as a reward for perfect attendance. Clinicians create their own materials and study plan, hosted through virtual rooms. Campers engage in activities in which they learn coping skills that allow them to handle their emotions in healthy ways. Clinical therapists work in small breakout rooms in Zoom, providing a safe space for students to discuss their feelings and experiences.
- Individual Therapy – Student meets with a therapist once or more weekly to work through concerns and individual treatment goals.
- Group Therapy – A group of four to eight students meet weekly to work on topics such as social emotional learning, grief and loss, anger management and coping skills.
- Family Therapy – A student and family meet once or more monthly to work on concerns in the family, such as family dynamics and communications, that might be affecting the student.
- Push-ins – Therapist supports student with self-regulation and implements coping skills in the classroom.
- Teacher Consults – Therapist supports student by advocating for the student’s needs, while providing teaching strategies for the classroom.
- Classroom Observations – Therapist observes student in classroom and documents behaviors as they relate to treatment goals.
- Anchor Children Services – Defined by the DC Mental Health Rehabilitation Services, the program provides comprehensive intake, diagnosis, case management services and medication management.
- Psychiatry – A psychiatrist can provide diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders.
Clinicians are assigned to work in 22 elementary and middle schools and one high school:
- Beers Elementary
- Eaton Elementary
- Eliot-Hine Middle
- Garfield Elementary
- Hendley Elementary
- Jefferson Elementary
- KIPP Aim
- KIPP-DC Honor
- KIPP-DC Inspire
- KIPP Lead
- KIPP-DC Legacy
- KIPP Quest
- KIPP Valor
- KIPP Will
- Nalle Elementary
- Patterson Elementary
- Peabody Elementary
- Rocketship Legacy
- Ron Brown High School
- School-Within-School at Goding
- Simon Elementary
- Stoddard Elementary
- Watkins Elementary