The Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc. (MHANYS) has established the School Mental Health Resource and Training Center to support all NYS public and private schools during the 2018-2019 academic year to implement Chapter 390 of the Laws of 2016, requiring mental health instruction as part of the K-12 health curricula. The Center staff and project partners are committed to helping schools:
- comply with the required mental health education of students
- identify resources and develop mental health lesson plans/curriculum
- develop and implement a plan for professional development
- establish community partnerships to support mental health education and services
- engage and support families
School Mental Health Resource and Training Center FAQ
Q: How do I access the Resource/Training Center?
A: The Center can be accessed three ways:
- Web – www.mentalhealthEDnys.org; includes on-line inquiry form and resources for Education Professionals, Students, Parents and Caregivers, and Community Partners.
- Phone – Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm at 518.434.0439
- Email – inquires can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Legislative funding is available for one year, although the hope and vision is that the Center will be available for at least three years contingent on continued support.
Q: What type of resources and services are provided by the Resource/Training Center?
A: The Center will provide schools with:
- A list of resources compatible with NYS health standards, mental health functional
knowledge identified by the Mental Health Advisory Council, and nine core curriculum
elements outlined by MHANYS in “Mental Health Education in New York Schools”.
- Mental health and wellness lesson plans created with funding from NYS Office of Mental
Health Anti-Stigma Funds (July 2017 to June 2018). The lesson plans include (4) lessons,
vertically and horizontally aligned, at each of the following grade levels: kindergarten,
1st grade, grades 2 – 3, grades 4-5, middle school and high school.
- Guidance and technical assistance to support schools’ ability to comply with the new
law (see above).
- Professional development, including an online Mental Health and Wellness training
modules for all school personnel, regional summits, webinars and additional trainings.
- Guidance to schools in identifying and establishing community partnerships for the
purpose of providing mental health instruction to students, training school staff, linking
students and families to mental health services, and advocating for access to quality
services and effective systems of care.
Q: Are there any fees for using the Resource/Training Center?
A: No! It is free and available at no cost to all New York State public and private schools. There may be costs for additional trainings and presentations, offered by MHANYS and/or our member affiliates beyond the scoped of the Resource/Training Center.
Q: Who is permitted to utilize the Resource/Training Center?
A: All New York State school staff, including educators, administrators, pupil services personnel and support staff. It is our belief that all members of the school community can benefit from professional development related to mental health and wellness. In addition, the Resource/Training Center will have some information that will be accessible to the general public, including community providers, caregivers and youth.
Q: Can you give us recommendations on curriculum development?
A: MHANYS will not recommend any particular curriculum, but rather will help schools assess existing mental health instruction and identify opportunities to enhance education for students, families and staff.
Q: Will any services be available at the local level?
A: Yes! Services at the local level will be provided through Regional Representatives and our affiliate network of Mental Health Associations.
Q: What if we need help creating lesson plans?
A: There will be a series of (4) lesson plans at each level that will be made available to school districts at no cost upon the launch of the School Mental Health Resource and Training Center that your district can build upon using additional resources identified by the Center.
Q: How can I learn more about available mental health trainings?
A: An online training module focusing on mental health and wellness is expected to launch by October 2018 and regional Youth Mental Health First Aid trainings will be offered between early Fall 2018 and late Spring 2019. Additional trainings and webinars will be accessible through the Resource/Training Center webpage.
Q: Can I use these trainings towards my CTLE requirements?
A: Yes! Select trainings, webinars and summit workshops are eligible for CTLE hours.
Q: How will I know that the information provided to me is accurate?
A: The staff that will be employed by the Center are experts in education and mental health to optimize your school’s ability to successfully facilitate mental health instruction. In addition, MHANYS has been working closely with the State Education Department and the Mental Health Advisory Council, so schools can be confident that information provided by the Center aligns with SED regulations and recommendations.
Q: I appreciate that this resource is available to schools. How can I get involved in advocating for sustainability of the project?
A: Thank you for your offer to help! First, use the Center and tell your colleagues about it; we will be collecting data on utilization rates to support sustainability. Also, consider joining us on March 13, 2019 for MHANYS’ Mental Health Matters Legislative Day. We will be visiting with our legislative members and advocating for additional funding to sustain the project.