Supporting Academic Achievement Through School-Based Mental Health Services: A Multisite Evaluation of Reading Outcomes Across One Academic Year

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2017


Untreated mental health needs can have serious negative consequences for the life outcomes of children, including greater difficulty in performing well academically. Elementary schools have a unique opportunity to meet the mental health needs of students through early intervention. One model for the implementation of mental health services in the school setting is the School-Based Support (SBS) Program. The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of the SBS Program on the academic performance (specifically the reading scores) of students across six elementary schools. Hierarchical linear modeling was used for analysis, and results showed that participants demonstrated statistically significant increases in report card grades for general literacy, reading skills, writing skills, and kindergarten through second grade (K-2) reading level. These results contribute to the growing body of evidence supporting the efficacy of comprehensive school-based mental health services, both for enhancing student well-being and for improving academic achievement.

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