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Baltimore City School Mental Health Program

Program Staff: 

  • Nancy Lever, PhD, Execituve Director
  • Jennifer Cox, LCSW-C, Program Director
  • Kelly Willis, LCSW-C, Associate Director
  • Brittany Parham, PhD, Faculty Advisor
  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, Senior Advisor
  • Ellie Davis, LCSW-C, Managing Director

The SMHP staff is a dedicated and close knit interdisciplinary team comprised of psychologists, social workers, professional counselors, psychiatrists, and trainees guided by youth, families and school staff.

Program Partners:
Behavioral Health Systems Baltimore; Baltimore City Schools

Program Description:
The SMHP team is dedicated to removing barriers to learning and creating a safe and nurturing learning environment in which students and families are able to rapidly access a range of culturally sensitive and effective prevention and therapeutic services that promote wellness and academic success.  The SMHP aims to accomplish this by positively impacting schools by way of focusing on building the schools’ capacity to support social emotional wellness through strengthening the school climate and teachers/administrators’ abilities to serve students with mental health concerns, as well as offering effective prevention, intervention, and treatment services to students and families.

The SMHP is committed to integrating evidence-based practices (EBP’s) into three tiers of prevention, with a strong focus on school-family-community partnerships. Additionally the SMHP has a growing telepsychiatry program that is supported by the University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, and the National Center for School Mental Health.  This program helps to address the national shortage of child and adolescent psychiatrists while also increasing access to Psychiatrist, reducing barrios to care and developing a workforce of 21st Century providers who are trained and engaged in the use of tele mental health.

Currently, the SMHP serves 25 City Schools under the leadership of Dr. Nancy Lever (Executive Director), Jennifer Cox, LCSW-C (Program Director), Kelly Willis, LCSW-C (Associate Director), Dr. Brittany Parham (Faculty Advisor), Dr. Sharon Hoover (Senior Advisor), and Ellie Davis, LCSW-C (Managing Director), a team with over 40 years of school mental health clinical and administrative experience.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Cox at

Bring Families and Schools Together (BFAST)

Project Staff:

  • Courtney Vaughan, LCSW-C, School Transition Specialist
    Fatima Logan, Family Connector

Funding Source:

University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS)

Project Description: 
Bringing Families and Schools Together (BFAST) is a free 3-month service offered to families who have had a child experience a psychiatric hospitalization at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. Children are eligible if they attend school in Baltimore City, Baltimore County or Anne Arundel County. The purpose of the program is to support students, families and school staff as a student returns to their school and community following a psychiatric hospitalization. Participating families receive transition support from a licensed clinical social worker and a trained Family Connector who provides peer support. Originally named the School Transition Program (STP), the program was developed by the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) as part of the Medicaid 1915c Waiver in Maryland to promote communication across settings, increase youth and family resources and support during the transition, and to ultimately prevent re-hospitalizations. This program and its procedures are described in a set of online training modules that were created through a grant from the Maryland BHA.

For more information about this project, please contact Courtney Vaughan at

Howard County School Mental Health Program

Program Partners: 

Howard County Health Department, Howard County Public Schools

Program Description: 
The Howard County School Mental Health Program (HCSMHP) provides evidence-based mental health interventions, intensive case management and family support for students at Bollman Bridge Elementary with the aim of helping students remove barriers to learning. The HCSMHP also provides training and consultation for school staff, crisis intervention, and an array of prevention activities for students and their families. The HCSMHP has been in existence since December 2013, and is made possible through a partnership involving the Howard County Health Department, the Howard County Public Schools, and the University of Maryland School of Medicine (Child and Adolescent Psychiatry).

For more information contact: Sharon Hoover, Ph.D.

Prince George's School Mental Health Initiative

Program Staff:

  • Dana Cunningham, PhD, Program Director 

Program Partners:
Maryland State Department of Education and Prince George’s County Public Schools

Program Description:
The goal of the PGSMHI is to provide an integrated model of mental health services in the least restrictive setting to students with emotional/behavioral disorders in Prince George’s County Public Schools who are at risk of attending non-public special education programs. The PGSMHI staff, comprised of clinicians and case managers, implement a full continuum of evidenced-based practices, provide intensive family support, and enhance staff competency through on-going educational training to support students’ behavioral and academic success. The key components of the PGSMHI focus on developing supportive relationships with youth and their families, decreasing risk factors and stressors, and enhancing strengths and protective factors through relevant interventions.

For more information contact: Dana Cunningham, Ph.D. at