Overview of District Mental Health Services

  • The Iowa Department of Education has established an Iowa MTSS framework to support decision making and continuous improvement in Iowa’s schools. The framework supports evidenced based implementation of universal instruction for all, as well as intervention for some/few, and is to be utilized across the educational system. More specifically, the Iowa MTSS framework endorses the implementation of the PBIS framework to provide social, emotional, behavioral and mental health (SEBMH) services and supports for all students. The ICCSD utilizes the Iowa MTSS and PBIS framework to provide district wide systems, building level school staff and specific services for students and families.

    Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
    PBIS, when implemented with integrity, creates an equitable educational environment for all students. PBIS provides a structure for increased positive culture and climate in schools, infuses a trauma-informed and mental health approach, supports restorative practices, and focuses on student development aligned with college and career readiness. More specifically, PBIS is a decision-making framework that guides selection, integration, and implementation of the best evidence-based practices for improving social emotional behavioral outcomes for all students. PBIS includes various decision-making teams that use data decision-making protocols to determine small group and individualized interventions for students. All students deserve access to strong universal instruction with additional layers of support available when needed.

    All District Staff

    • Promote positive, intentional, relationship building interactions with students
    • Reflect on teaching strategies & their impact on all student learners
    • Commit to creating a safe & supportive culture and climate for all students

    Specific Building Level School Staff (examples of support):
    K-12 School Counselors – in all buildings

    • Elementary – teach counseling curriculum, which includes bullying prevention, lead small group and individual counseling and interventions, suicide response and intervention.
    • Secondary – graduation progress plan and course scheduling, post-secondary planning, lead small group and individual counseling and interventions, suicide response and intervention.

    K-12 Student and Family Advocates – in all buildings

    • Coordination of school-based mental health services for students
    • Crisis management & de-escalation support
    • Suicide response & intervention
    • Assistance with insurance, medication &/or healthcare access
    • Advocacy with community providers, medical providers & school resources
    • Parent education & support
    • Transportation planning & support
    • Individual & small group social skills instruction &/or counseling
    • Teacher/school staff consultation
    • Connection to extra-curricular activities
    • Referral & connection to community resources
    • Regular student &/or parent check-ins

    K-12 School Nurses – available to all buildings

    • Oversee day-to-day health issues, including medication administration, first aid, emergency triage, etc.
    • Provide physical and mental health screenings, ongoing monitoring, specific prescribed medical procedures and treatments, suicide response & intervention.
    • Health education for students, families & staff
    • Connect students and families to health resources.

    Services/Programs Available:
    Second Step & Steps to Respect Bullying Prevention Program Elementary Counselors teach weekly lessons using the Second Step Social-Emotional Learning Program, which incorporates age-appropriate Steps to Respect Bullying
    Prevention Unit lessons. Counselors also provide information to school staff about key components of the Steps to Respect Bullying Prevention program.

    Healthy Kids School-based Clinic: Open to all children in the county without health insurance, or with other barriers to getting care. Medical clinic in the schools that provide free medical care, including pediatrics, vision, dental and psychiatric care.

    • Clinic Coordinator works with families and community healthcare providers to establish a medical home, and to apply for Title XIX or Hawk-i.
    • Specialty care is provided by many community providers, often pro-bono or at a reduced rate.

    School-based Mental Health Psychiatry Services: Offered through the Healthy Kids Community Care clinic; open to all students in the district that are uninsured or have access barriers to psychiatric care.

    • UIHC Child Psychiatrist provides psychiatric evaluations and medication follow-up 1 morning/ week, in the Healthy Kids Clinic. UIHC provides this service at a reduced rate.

    Mental Health Counseling: The district has multiple interagency agreements and contracts with community agencies to provide on-site mental health counseling for select students. Student & Family Advocates and School Counselors are available to each building to provide support to students with mental health needs and their families, and connect them with mental health care providers in the community. Their role is to provide limited & planful school-based therapy for individual students as determined by the school team with parent input/involvement.

    • Four Oaks and ChildServe partner with the school district to provide mental health counseling services to students on-site and at their agencies. These agencies bill third party payers for those with insurance. Funding is available to support students who are uninsured.
    • NAMI of Johnson County works with the school district to provide educational resources to staff and families.

    Prelude Behavioral Services

    • Substance Abuse Counseling services available to secondary students for Early Intervention Services (EIS), brief assessment, counseling and education.
    • Services available at Prelude

    Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) in Schools

    • Services provided through a partnership with UIHC
    • Group based instruction & development of the following skills using the DBT curriculum: MINDFULNESS Using the What Skills, DISTRESS TOLERANCE Using Crisis Survival, EMOTION REGULATION Using Reduce Vulnerability, INTERPERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS Using Objectiveness effectiveness
    • Services currently available at West High, City High, Liberty High & Tate High Schools.

    Grief Support

    • Individual & group based support for students who are struggling due to losing a loved one provided through a partnership with UI Child Life Department
    • Limited on-site services available at City High

    Crisis Mediation Support

    • Individual & family short term crisis intervention services provided at school or in the community by trained therapists who work to stabilize conflict situations
    • Services available at all secondary buildings through a partnership with United Action for Youth

    CommUnity - Mobile Crisis Outreach Program

    • Partnership to access 24/7/365 Mobile Crisis Outreach services available in Johnson county; mental health counselors are dispatched to homes, schools, emergency rooms, or public places where a mental health crisis is occurring.
    • Services are voluntary and available to all staff, students & families

    Community Resources & Active Partnerships
    Mental Health Specific Examples:

    • UIHC – Pediatrics & Child Psychiatry
    • Four Oaks
    • ChildServe
    • Meadowlark Clinic
    • Abbe Center
    • Healthy Kids Community Cares Health Clinic
    • PIH Programming

    Additional Examples:

    • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Johnson County
    • Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County
    • United Action for Youth
    • DVIP
    • WIC & Johnson County Public Health
    • Shelter House
    • Juvenile Court

    Professional Development Opportunities Have Included:

    • Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS)
    • Potentially Suicidal Student - Staff Response Guidelines
    • Youth Mental Health First Aid
    • Behavior Basics
    • ACEs and Trauma Informed Care
    • Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team in partnership GWAEA
    • Self-Care for Educators
    • Steps to Respect Bullying Prevention
    • Specific mental health conditions (ex. Anxiety, Depression)
    • QPR training (Question Persuade Refer) for suicide prevention
    • Guidelines in our Safety & Emergency Procedures for staff

    Further Exploring - with identified partners:

    • Universal screening pilot - SAEBRS & mySAEBRS
    • Integrated Systems Framework - Midwest PBIS Network, GWAEA
    • Trauma-Informed Practices - UI
    • PBIS training infused with We Can! trauma informed approach - UI & GWAEA
    • SEL integration - Iowa Dept Ed / CASEL
    • Exploring additional training opportunities (Suicide Prevention, YMHFA, ASIST)
    • STOP - School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Grant - City, West & Liberty
    • Pilot to explore additional community based interventions for students with chronic attendance concerns - UAY
    • Coping Cat Curriculum for students with anxiety - SFAs & Counselors