The U.S. Surgeon General’s Youth Mental Health Advisory: What Does it Mean for School Districts?

  • Universal Mental Health Screening. This screening takes place at the beginning of each school year to identify students who may need additional support that goes beyond Tier 1 instruction and activities. (Recommendations 1, 2, 4)
  • Whole-school professional learning for teachers and parents. Workshops educate teachers and parents on the warning signs of mental health challenges and equip teachers to manage challenging behaviors, emphasizing social-emotional learning. (Recommendations 3, 4)
  • A Trauma-Attuned Model®. This approach integrates a set of tools to help educators recognize and manage the effects of trauma and the challenging behaviors that often occur as a result. (Recommendations 2, 4)
  • A welcoming and supportive classroom culture. Trauma-informed practices form the basis of classroom-based wellness activities, such as social-emotional learning and mindfulness instruction to enhance self-awareness and self-care. (Recommendations 1,2, 4)
  • A modified disciplinary system that includes a schoolwide early warning system to identify students who are disconnected, disengaged, and/or are exhibiting risky or disruptive behaviors. (Recommendations 3, 4)
  • Activities that foster relationships with parents/caregivers, support staff, mentors, and community agencies. (Recommendation 6)

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