Implementing School-Based Mental Health Centers to Increase Academic Outcomes for Students
MetadataShow full item record
Although there have been many attempts to close the achievement gap through academic interventions, achievement gaps among African-American, Hispanic, and Economically Disadvantaged students continues to be prevalent in public schools in the United States. As a part of a school turnaround strategy, school-based mental health centers were installed in high schools throughout an urban school district to address severe mental health challenges of some of its students. Students from three of the high schools that utilized a school-based mental health center at least five times were compared with students in a computer-generated comparison group to determine whether the school-based mental health counseling affected student academic performance. Attendance, discipline records, grade point averages, and standardized examination scores of students during the year prior and during the treatment year were analyzed. A descriptive analysis found that students treated in a school-based mental health center had improved attendance, reduced disciplinary infractions, improved grade point averages, and better standardized examination scores than the comparison group. This Record of Study recommends practices to implement and monitor a school-based mental health center successfully. School administrators need to consider strategies to identify students who need mental health services, provide professional development for staff on mental health issues, the plan to promote the services provided in the mental health center to the school community, and support systems required to fully realize the potential of providing counseling on a school campus. Recommendations for further study include measuring the effectiveness of the school-based mental health center based on cohorts of students, using students who refuse treatment as a control group, determining the effects of the school-based mental health center on the culture and climate of a school community, and using questionnaires to document feedback from students, parents and staff.
Shapiro, Craig Scott (2018). Implementing School-Based Mental Health Centers to Increase Academic Outcomes for Students. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from