Mental Health Service Quality and Coordinated Care

From: Pent
Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2017 10:01 AM
Subject: Mental Health Service Quality and Coordinated Care

Hello PENT Cadre members, SELPA Directors, and supporters,

When it comes to the selection, adoption, and delivery of mental health interventions for students who exhibit social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties, there is a need to ensure both quality of and coordinated care. Too often the mental health services selected and delivered are not evidence-based, and thus are unlikely to produce educational benefit for the student. It is essential to improve the quality of mental health services by making sure providers have received training in evidence-based practices, such as cognitive behavior therapy, trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy, interpersonal therapy, behavioral activation and/or family therapies.

For information on various evidence-based mental health interventions for children and adolescents, check out the links to the following resources.

In addition to service quality, it is important that effective mental health services are coordinated and communicated effectively with educators and families to ensure successful delivery. Even the most effective mental health interventions will not produce any benefit for children unless they are successfully adopted and delivered. Many researchers and practitioners have devoted significant attention to improving the degree to which mental health interventions are coordinated and communicated effectively with educators and families. One such efforts stems from the work on the Interconnected System Framework. The Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF) represents an effort to integrate Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and School Mental Health (SMH) systems to improve educational outcomes for all children and youth, especially those with or at risk of developing mental health challenges. As part of the upcoming PENT Forums, we plan on diving deeper in to the ISF and learning how it provides a useful framework for coordinating and communicating mental health services in school settings.  If you’re interested in exploring more about ISF prior to the Forum, please see It is also important to point out the work we have begun in PENT to develop and revise the Direct Treatment Protocol is in the spirit of improving the coordination of mental health services for students who receive them as part of their IEP.

We look forward to revising and aligning the DTP with input from you all to improve its usability and impact on the delivery of mental health services for students with social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties. Please email if you have any questions or requests for specific information regarding the selection, delivery, and coordination of school-based mental health services.


Clayton R. Cook, Ph.D.
PENT Research Director


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