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This web site was created for clinicians, clinicians-in-training, educators, and parents, to help identify and support the needs of children and adolescents with psychiatric conditions, particularly in the school setting. The material in this web site is appropriate for clinicians who work in schools (e.g., school psychologists, guidance counselors) and those who work in mental health settings (e.g., psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers).

How to Use This Web Site

This web site is intended to provide information to, and encourage collaboration among, all the adults who support the needs of children and adolescents with mental health disorders.  Clinicians will find a broad range of material here, from diagnostic screening tools to practical strategies that can be recommended to families and taught directly to students, to ease a young person’s stresses at home and at school.

Information is provided in five main sections:

  • Child/Adolescent Mental Health Information
    Click on Child/Adolescent Mental Health Information to read about common psychiatric disorders and how they present in children and adolescents. This section describes the disorders, evidence-based treatments, and useful interventions for school and home.

  • Checklists for Preliminary Mental Health Screening
    Click on Checklists for Preliminary Mental Health Screening to find checklists for preliminary psychiatric screening to help establish a diagnosis for a child or adolescent.

    Diagnosis should be made only by a trained clinician after a thorough evaluation.

  • Screening Tools & Rating Scales
    Click on Screening Tools & Rating Scales to find screening tools and rating scales. These tools can help to better understand and define the child's difficulties, and to measure progress after interventions are put in place.

    These screening tools and rating scales are just one component of an evaluation. Diagnosis should be made only by a trained clinician after a thorough evaluation.

  • Mental Health in the Classroom
    Click on Mental Health in the Classroom for information about addressing and accommodating mental health disorders at school, and for instructional materials designed for high school-based mental health clinicians and teachers to teach students skills for emotional self-regulation and conflict resolution.

    Select Educational Evaluation for general information about assessing individual needs and tailoring a plan to accommodate the child in school.

    Select School-Based Interventions for information about specific school accommodations and modifications that can be effective for each disorder.

    Select Creating a Safe School Climate for strategies and recommended steps for communities to foster respect and safety of all students.

    Select Curriculum for Teaching Emotional Self-Regulation Skills if you are a school-based mental health clinician who would like to introduce emotional regulation and conflict resolution skills into the high school classroom.

  • Medications
    This section offers family-friendly information about medications that are used to treat children and adolescents with mental health disorders.

Maintaining Perspective During a Complex Process

You will find this web site most helpful if you keep the following points in mind:
  • The best results usually are achieved when clinician, family, and school personnel agree on the symptoms to receive priority, the treatment plan, and interventions at home and at school. You can use the information in this web site to help everyone on the team come to a common understanding and develop a shared plan of action.

  • If a child has symptoms that interfere with school performance, encourage the child's family to contact the staff member(s) most familiar with mental health issues at their school.

  • The child may be eligible for special education services. Students are eligible for special education services when they have a diagnosed disability, and if that disability interferes with school progress (socially-emotionally as well as academically). If the student does not have an identified disability, or if the disability does not interfere with school progress, the student may still receive assistance through a "504 Plan," which often includes accommodations to help the student succeed (such as increased time for taking tests).

  • The School-Based Interventions on this web site are comprehensive but not exhaustive. They are intended to stimulate your thinking about what might be most helpful for children and adolescents. It would not be feasible or appropriate to institute every accommodation for a child with particular symptoms. Instead, consider which symptoms most interfere with a child's school success, and consider which accommodations might best work for the child.

  • Most benefit occurs when target symptoms are identified so that accommodations can be prioritized.

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