School Behavioral Health Expansion

During School Year 2018-2019, the Department of Behavioral Health began partnerships with Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to implement the District’s phased expansion of multi-tiered school based behavioral health services in the District’s public and public charter schools. This expansion builds on the multi-tiered school-based behavioral health services that the DBH/School Mental Health Program continues to provide. Additionally, the DC CoP launched in September, 2019 to support the comprehensive school behavioral health supports of the District’s school behavioral health expansion. 

School Centric Assessment & School Strengthening Work Plans (SSWPs)

SSWPs were adapted from the Center for Disease Controls (CDC) School Health Index and embrace the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) framework. The WSCC framework is student-centered and emphasizes the role of the community in supporting the school, the connections between health and academic achievement and the importance of evidence-based school policies and practices. The school strengthening tool prioritizes domains of school counseling, psychological and social services, employee wellness and health promotion, family engagement, and social and emotional climate. 

These resources for the 2023-2024 School Year are in a word document for your team to fill out.

History of Behavioral Health Services in DC

The District of Columbia has been working to provide and improve behavioral health services to children and youth in public schools and public charter schools over the past 20 years. In 2019, DC launched the Comprehensive School-Based Behavioral Health Expansion in the city's public and public charter schools and established the DC School Behavioral Health Community of Practice helps support the District's efforts to increase these services and supports in schools. Watch these three brief introductory videos to learn more.

Introductory Videos