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Student Behavioral Health Incentive Program 

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The consequences of not addressing child and adolescent mental health conditions often extend to adulthood. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), half of all mental health conditions start by 14 years of age but most cases are undetected or untreated. Child and adolescent mental health hospitalizations and suicide rates have increased over the last decade, many say we are reaching a youth mental health crisis in the U.S. Additionally, COVID-19, stay-at-home orders, and school closures have impacted children and adolescents in an unprecedented manner, causing additional stress and anxiety. It is imperative to enhance access to behavioral services and address the mental well-being of children and adolescents.

Schools are a critical point of access for preventive and early-intervention behavioral health services, as children are in school for many hours a day, for approximately half the days of the year. Early identification and treatment through school-affiliated behavioral health services can reduce emergency room visits, crisis situations, inpatient stays, and placement in high-cost special education settings and/or out of home placement. Furthermore, African American, Native American, and Pacific Islander students1 are more likely to be chronically absent, suspended, or expelled. LGBTQ students are two times more likely to report depression and three times more likely to report suicidal ideation than non-LGBTQ peers. Development of a cross-system partnership focused on increasing access to behavioral health services in school and school-affiliated settings is critical for improving these outcomes. Schools often lack on-campus behavioral health resources and find it challenging to recognize and respond appropriately to children's mental health needs, particularly in the absence of school mental health professionals).

In an effort to provide additional avenues to address behavioral health in schools Assembly Bill 133: Section 5961.3 outlines the Student Behavioral Health Incentive Program (SBHIP) and the program documentation will be posted here. 

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Last modified date: 10/29/2021 10:55 AM