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Mission, Goals & Activities

The mission of the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) is to strengthen policies and programs in school mental health to improve learning and promote success for America's youth.

The NCSMH has three over-arching goals:

  • Goal 1. Advance high-quality, sustainable comprehensive school mental health systems at school, district, state, regional, and national levels. 
  • Goal 2. Conduct research and evaluation on mental health promotion, prevention, and intervention in schools and other aspects related to the planning, delivery, and continuous quality improvement of high quality, sustainable school mental health systems.
  • Goal 3. Train and support diverse stakeholders and a multidisciplinary workforce in understanding, promoting, and advancing child, adolescent, and young adult mental health and wellbeing

Through facilitation of Communities of Practice on School Mental Health Health, School Mental Health Collaboratives on Improvement and Innovation Networks (CoIINs), State Coalitions, and other learning collaboratives at local, district, state, regional, and national levels, the NCSMH analyzes diverse sources of information, develops and disseminates practical tools, issue and policy briefs, and promotes the utilization of knowledge and actions to advance successful, innovative, and sustainable school mental health policies, practices, and programs.  The NCSMH works with a wide range of stakeholders invested in collaborative approaches to build a shared family-school-community mental health agenda to reduce barriers to student learning and promote improved student academic, and social-emotional-behavioral functioning.  The NCSMH has led the development and implementation and ongoing refinement of a national school mental health census and national performance measures for quality and sustainability in school mental health.  In addition, the NCSMH has helped to facilitate national and regional discussions on how to advance the momentum of getting to wide-scale adoption of quality comprehensive school mental health in the United States and has strategically worked to identify best practices and action steps that can be taken at district, state, and national levels to advance school mental health.

The NCSMH is committed to strengthening our nation’s current health, education, and mental health staff as it relates to improving children’s mental health and wellbeing and promoting safe and supportive schools.  The NCSMH is also focused on helping to build and strengthen the knowledge and skills of our future workforce through pre-service technical assistance and training opportunities.  The NCSMH hosts national and regional conferences to advance research, policy, and practice related to mental health in schools with our primary emphasis being on our Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health, the nation’s premier interdisciplinary school mental health conference.