According the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, one in five children and adolescents experience a mental health problem during their school years.1 Stress, anxiety, family problems, depression, and alcohol and substance abuse are becoming increasingly common challenges that students face. Left unmet, student mental health needs are linked to a variety of negative outcomes such as academic and behavior problems, dropping out, and delinquency. Not all students have access to community mental health centers, but virtually all students have access to their school. Therefore, schools have a unique opportunity to assist students with meeting their mental health needs.2
Research and support is emerging regarding the blending of school-based mental health care and school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) practices to improve student outcomes. This blending of systems has become referred to as the Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF). ISF is an implementation framework that creates and guides the linkage between education and mental health systems and staff to leverage and maximize the benefits of both systems of care for our students.3
As part of the blending of systems, Pulaski County Schools have created a common pathway of support available to students. The Pulaski County Schools Mental Health and Behavioral Support Pathway is depicted in the graphic below.
Pulaski County Mental Health and Behavioral Support Pathway
The video below provides an overview of the Pulaski County Schools Mental Health and Behavioral Support Pathway.
1 "Mental Health Myths and Facts." MentalHealth.gov. Department of Health and Human Services,
14 Mar. 2013. Web. 11 May 2017.
2 "NASP: The National Association of School Psychologists." School-Based Mental Health Services.
National Association of School Psychologists, 2016. Web. 11 May 2017.
3 "Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports - OSEP." Interconnected Systems. PBIS.org, n.d.
Web. 11 May 2017.
- ISF Implementation Workbook - As part of training, technical assistance, and coaching by an ISF Facilitator, this workbook is intended to support district and school leadership teams who are aligning and integrating School Mental Health (SMH) and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). Teams will be able to identify action steps towards implementation of an Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF).
- ISF Monograph - The Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF) described in this monograph represents a proposed and developing interconnection of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and School Mental Health (SMH) systems to improve educational outcomes for all children and youth, especially those with or at risk of developing mental health challenges. This monograph represents a collective effort to further develop the ISF concept and guide the interconnection of PBIS and SMH toward effective multi-tiered mental health promotion for all students, with guidance for this work at school building, district, and state levels.
- Midwest PBIS Network Website - This website hosts the above mentioned resources, webinar and training opportunities, implementation tools and more.