School-Based Mental Health Supports

The Importance of Mental Health 

Children today are increasingly exposed to many social forces that negatively affect their role as students. Good mental health is critical to children’s success in school and life. Research demonstrates that students who receive social–emotional and mental health support achieve better academically. School climate, classroom behavior, on-task learning, and students’ sense of connectedness and well-being all improve as well. Mental health is not simply the absence of mental illness but also encompasses social, emotional, and behavioral health and the ability to cope with life’s challenges. Left unmet, mental health problems are linked to costly negative outcomes such as academic and behavior problems, dropping out, and delinquency.

School counselors, school psychologists, licensed clinical professional counselors and school social-workers provide the vast majority of school-based services. They are specially trained in school system functioning and learning, as well as how students’ behavior and mental health impacts their ability to be successful in school. 

Free Asynchronous Training and Presentations
Resources in Response to a Traumatic Event
Resources for Parents: 

Resources For Educators: 

Free PK-12th Grade Student Mental Health Support Modules 
  • The following resources can be incorporated into a School Counseling, Health or MTSS approach that prioritizes stress reduction through mental and physical wellness routines that include daily opportunities for movement, mindfulness activities, and any additional calming routines to promote self-regulation (e.g., lights off, music, breathing, drawing). Supporting students in establishing these routines promote resilience and health among children who have experienced trauma, reduce stress and negative behaviors while increasing health and focus.
  • These modules are available through the SEL4ME platform and can be accessed by creating a free account.
  •  Click HERE for the Mental Health Support Modules webpage 
June 2021 Student Mental Health Survey Report 
  • On April 12th, 2021, the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs held a work session for LD 742, “Resolve, To Track Youth Mental Health during COVID-19 by Ensuring the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey is Conducted during the 2020-21 School Year.” The bill was tabled, and the bill sponsor and House chair met with representatives from the Maine Department of Education (DOE) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to discuss alternative pathways to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on student mental health.
  • In response to LD 742, the Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs submitted a letter to the Commissioner of Education outlining the following request:

"…that the Department, in coordination with the Maine CDC, conduct an immediate survey of informed persons working in schools, including school-based counselors and social workers, school nurses, administrators and others on the status of student mental health. The Committee understands that it is not possible to survey students directly but believes that valuable information may be gathered from mental health professionals working in the schools."

  • Commissioner Makin directed the DOE’s Mental Health Specialist to work in collaboration with the Maine CDC to develop a research instrument that could appropriately meet this request before the end of the school year. The survey instrument was provided to targeted school-based positions on May 21, 2021. Data was collected through June 4, 2021.

  • Please find the survey report here: