Our Kansas Behavioral Health Integration into Schools (BHIS) program will focus on improving mental health of children and adolescents affected by tornados and flooring in 2019. These weather events created damaged in 70 of the 105 counties, most of which exist in rural or frontier areas. Our project aims to increase access to school-based behavioral health services through this catchment area, evaluating existing programming through implementation of the Multi-tiered Systems of Support framework (MTSS). To accomplish this, we will import elements from a successful Pennsylvania school-based screening program which combines staff training in evidence-based practices and interventions, access to standardized screening and referral technology, and ongoing technical assistance and implementation support. To implement this program, we will collaborate with Drexel University's Center for Family Intervention Science (CFIS) and software company Medical Decision Logic, Inc (mdlogix). Together, these two teams have built statewide suicide prevention infrastructure across the state of Pennsylvania (70% of counties), with a particular focus on schools.
This proposed program is supported by BH-Works, a cloud data and workflow platform that provides tools for screening students, coordinating care, conducting virtual visits, tracking individual outcomes, and analyzing and reporting population data. All elements of this proposed project, including use of BH-Works, will be made available to 20 community mental health centers (CMHCs) from counties affected by these 2019 disasters, as well as schools they serve. We plan to engage with 20 CMHCs, recruiting at least 9 of them to use BH-Works to provide screening and intervention to students on school sites. Since many of the school districts in the catchment area have small student populations, we aim to screen at least 250 students by the end of this 1-year project period. Most of these screenings will be indicated, with the student being referred for assessment by school staff. We will train 25 providers in Attachment Based Family Therapy (ABFT), certify 75 Question-Persuade-Refer (QPR) trainers, and provide QPR training to staff in at least 75 school districts. We will also provide Mental Health First Aid training to staff in at least 20 school districts. As part of our community engagement component, we will conduct town hall meetings in at least 5 of the affected counties and expand the state's Youth Leaders in Kansas (YLINK) program to 12 additional groups in these catchment areas. We will build on this infrastructure through future state and federal funding opportunities.