The National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, in partnership with the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), is applying for the National Initiative to Advance Health Equity in K-12 Education by Preventing Chronic Disease and Promoting Healthy Behaviors: Priority 2-Emotional Well-Being. The NCSMH and CASEL are recognized and respected national leaders in school mental health and social and emotional learning with, collectively, over 50 years of experience advancing emotional well-being for school communities across the United States, with a focus on advancing health equity and meeting the needs of the whole child, school and community.
The NCSMH and CASEL will provide support to CDC-funded state education agencies (SEAs), districts, schools, out of school time (OST) programs and the organization’s constituents through a comprehensive model of professional development, technical assistance, dissemination, partnerships and implementation support. The project strategies, activities and outcomes will be achieved using the overarching framework of the CDC Healthy Schools WSCC Emotional Well-Being Learning Community (WSCC Emotional Well-Being LC): A network of CDC Healthy Schools SEAs, districts, schools, OST programs and the organization’s constituents committed to improving emotional well-being for youth in communities that are underserved, economically marginalized, and disproportionately affected by chronic diseases and the risk factors that cause them. The WSCC Emotional Well-Being LC will use an equity-driven approach, Community of Practice and quality improvement best practices, multi-level learning and collaboration, including collaboration with youth leaders, evidence-based content, sustainability best practices, and expansion via Training of Trainers.
This effort will achieve the following short-term/intermediate outcomes: (O1) increased use of CDC and other evidence-based tools and resources, (O2) increased adoption and implementation of evidence-based school health policies, practices, and programs among SEAs, districts, and schools, (O3) demonstrated expansion of school-based mental health and health services, (O4) increased systems and environments that support the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of students and school staff, and (O5) increased ability to identify and promote the use of evidence-based school health strategies and guidelines. These outcomes will support the long-term outcome of increased physical, mental, and emotional well-being among students and school staff.