By Duncan Young, CEO

As districts look to return to more normal in-person schooling, many of them are examining the strength of the mental health safety net that awaits students. An increasing volume of research points to the fact that students will likely face both an increased intensity and increased frequency of mental health challenges as schools re-open. Part of this district self-assessment involves a review of gaps in the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Framework that districts have in place, including:

· Roles and responsibilities that are sometimes ill-defined.

· Lack of consistency in mental health interventions across buildings.

Offsetting the Emotional and Financial Costs of ER Visits & Higher Levels of Care

By Lucille Carr-Kaffashan, PhD and Jerry Barone, ESS Chief Clinical Officer

The pressure to return American students to the classroom safely and swiftly is high. Academic setbacks are bad enough, but the impact of pandemic-related school closures and remote learning on students’ mental health and well-being has reached crisis proportions. School districts are gearing up as never before to offer school-based mental health services to accommodate the anticipated groundswell of students who may be struggling with various trauma responses triggered by the pandemic.

The Scope of…

By Coleen Vanderbeek, Psy.D., LPC

Schools all over the country are preparing to welcome students back into the classroom after a full year of remote learning, hybrid schedules, and shortened school days. A year without in-person learning has exacted a heavy toll on students’ motivation to learn, and on their ability to focus, to self-regulate, to tolerate distress, and to interact with others. Many students are eager to resume their typical school schedules, while others are highly resistant to the idea, and are already showing signs of increased anxiety as plans to return to full school days are discussed.


By Lucille Carr-Kaffashan, PhD

Spring is traditionally a time of hope and renewal. COVID-19 vaccination rates are accelerating, and the possibility of achieving herd immunity in the United States by late summer may be within reach. The relief from living in a constant state of threat cannot come soon enough, and school professionals will need that relief as they tackle the educational setbacks and mental health challenges of students returning from fully remote or hybrid schedules.

Many school districts have already begun preparations to deliver enhanced mental health services, evaluating the various tiers of support already offered, as well as…

By Duncan Young, CEO, Effective School Solutions

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated school disruption has had a devastating impact on our young people, in terms of their academic progress but also in their mental health and social-emotional well-being. Many students will have a long road back to re-adjust to a more normalized schooling environment- these challenges can be anticipated to extend through school re-opening but also well into the future.

In response to the COVID relief pandemic, the federal government has fortunately provided an unprecedented infusion of additional funding to K-12 school districts to help address these challenges. While there…

By: Princess Parker, LPC, Alyssa Haley, LCSW and Gerard Barone, LCSW

For at least 10 years before the COVID-19 pandemic turned the lives of students, parents, and school personnel upside down, mental health professionals and educators had been sounding alarms about the growing mental health needs of America’s youth. Faced with increasing rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidality, over half of the states had already enacted laws to require a mental health curriculum in schools. …

By Jerry Barone, Chief Clinical Officer, and Laine Whitaker, MSL

Educators have their hands full. The pandemic has brought about enormous mental health and educational challenges, the scope of which are still unmeasurable. At the same time, interwoven throughout all these challenges, are racial injustices and disparities that seem to be widening by the minute.

Teachers are struggling to maintain their primary educational missions, and yet cannot ignore the mental health needs of students, nor the racial trauma that affects so many of their students. …

by Linda Rosenberg, Executive Director of External Relations, Columbia University Department of Psychiatry and Jerry Barone, Chief Clinical Officer, Lucille Carr-Kaffashan, PhD, and Duncan Young, CEO, Effective School Solutions

As a new year dawns, educators across the United States are facing challenges that just a year ago would have been unimaginable. Some challenges are directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the need to upgrade technology and skills related to remote learning, to alter physical spaces and routines to allow for physical distancing and enhanced cleaning, and to monitor the health of both students and staff in order to keep…

By Gerard Barone, LCSW, Chief Clinical Officer and Lisa Ciappi, LCSW, Executive Director

It is certainly an understatement to say that school professionals have had to adapt to a multitude of changes since the beginning of the COVID-19 quarantine in March, 2020. Despite time spent during the summer to re-group and prepare for the beginning of a new school year in September, educators are finding that even deep into the fall semester they still feel unsettled. …

by Coleen Vanderbeek, Psy.D., LPC

Balancing optimism with the acceptance of harsh realities can be difficult under the best of circumstances. In the midst of a life-altering stressor like the COVID-19 pandemic, however, it can feel like a next-to-impossible tightrope walk.

Both mental health professionals and well-meaning lay folks have shared endless ideas about how to cope with the fear, boredom, grief, and ambiguity that have been our constant companions since March of this year. Some advocate for an acceptance approach: Accept yourself where you are! Be kind to yourself! Sit with and tolerate the discomfort and the solitude! Face…

Effective School Solutions

Reinventing K-12 Mental Health Care. Effective School Solution partners with school districts to help develop K-12 whole-school mental health programs.

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