Counseling, Psychological & Social Services
Services provided to improve students' mental, emotional, and social health.
Counseling, psychological, and social services address a broad range of student needs. Preventive activities provide support for children and their families and screen for psychological problems. Academic guidance and solving temporary problems can address short-term concerns. Treatment or referrals for severe mental health problems are at the other end of the spectrum. While there can be overlap among functions, school counselors generally focus on academic and career development, school psychologists address learning and behavior problems, and social workers deal with the family and community factors that influence learning. These school professionals spend the majority of their time providing direct services to students, staff, and families by meeting with them individually, in small groups, or with the entire student body. School mental health professionals also sometimes participate in health-related classroom lessons. They frequently meet in teams with administrators, teachers, and families to discuss how they might help individual students as well as to discuss what needs to happen within the entire educational system to better support student learning.
The National Association of School Psychologists
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has many resources and helpful links for additional information on mental health: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion - Healthy Youth
The PREPaRE curriculum has been developed by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) as part of NASP’s decade-long leadership in providing evidence-based resources and consultation related to school crisis prevention and response. PREPaRE provides school-based mental health professionals and other educational professionals training on how to best fill the roles and responsibilities generated by their participation on school crisis teams. For details about PREPaRE, please visit NASP Resources.
The purpose of Health, Mental Health and Safety Guidelines for Schools is to help those who influence the health and safety of students and school staff while they are in school, on school grounds, on their way to or from school, and involved in school-sponsored activities. The guidelines recognize that the primary mission of schools is to educate students. There are separate sections with guidelines for each of the 8 components of coordinated school health. Go to www.nationalguidelines.org for additional information and downloadable documents.