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Building Bridges for Children's Mental Health

The Building Bridges for Children’s Mental Health Project in Colorado (Building Bridges) is designed to build a statewide system to support and sustain the integration of public schools and local behavioral health systems that will lead to increased access to behavioral health services and improved outcomes for school-aged children.

Tools for Families and Schools

Building Bridges Tip Sheets - these fact sheets contain basic information about some common mental health disorders, a list of the more common symptoms, a summary of the educational implications of the disorder, instructional strategies and classroom accommodations, and further resources.

A Guide for Using the Cultural and Linguistic Competence policy Assessment Instrument (PDF) - After an organization has done the assessment on cultural competence, this guide can be useful for developing an action to improve the cultural competence of the organization. The guide contains extensive resources for an organization to reference during its work on cultural competence. It includes sample consent form for focus groups, and a sample focus group protocol.

Mental Health Matrix: Assessment Tools for School Mental Health Capacity Building (PDF) - This grid provides links to self-assessment, tools, interview questions, surveys and tips from Institute of Behavioral Research - Organizational change assessment tool, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion; School-Community Partnerships; Coalition for Community Schools; National Center for Cultural Competence; National Institute of Mental Health. Includes assessment tools for school capacity building and planning information on the following topics: school readiness, needs assessment, gaps analysis, financing self-assessment, collaboration & stakeholder involvement, cultural competency, quality improvement, surveillance.

Breaking the Silence - This site contains lesson plans, games, and posters created to break the silence about mental illness in our schools.

The Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT) - This site can help school districts, schools, and others conduct a clear, complete, and consistent analysis of health education curricula based on the National Health Education Standards and CDC’s Characteristics of Effective Health Education Curricula.

Video: Building Trusting Relationships - A video presentation by Barbara Huff, founder and Executive Director of the Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health, a national family advocacy organization. Based on her many years of experience as a family advocate, including work at the national level, Barbara offers insights and specific recommendations for how school teams and families can build trusting relationships. The video, which can be shown in segments, is a useful tool for school teams who want to increase family participation and collaboration in planning interventions for individual students and to increase family membership on building level teams.


Family and Youth Involvement

Creating Social Change: The Growth of a State Wide Movement (PDF) - Resources to enhance youth leadership.

Family Driven Care (PDF) - One-pager with definition and characteristics of family drive by the Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health

Youth Voice PowerPoint Presentation (PDF) - PowerPoint presentation on the youth voice - how to use it, why to use it, etc.



Safe and Sound: An Educational Leader's Guide to Evidence Based Social and Emotional Learning Programs (PDF) - In addition to consumer-oriented ratings of 80 classroom-based programs selected from nearly 250 that were reviewed, the guide provides valuable information about effective program implementation. Many of these programs have been identified as addressing school violence, health education, or substance abuse. In addition, Safe and Sound makes clear how and why these programs are unified by common approaches to enhancing children’s social and emotional development. In doing so, Safe and Sound provides an overarching framework for effective school-based planning and program implementation.

Communities of Practice: A New Approach to Solving Complex Educational Problems (PDF) - Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.

Measuring Conditions for Learning (PDF) - Factors effecting learning and development /social emotional learning development.

Mental Health and Schools Supporting Collaborative Practice (PDF) - This study highlights the importance of a school climate where adults encourage students to come forward with information about threats and other concerning behavior without fearing punishment, ridicule, or not being taken seriously. These implications may help faculty, staff, and other adults take appropriate action when they become aware of a threatening situation.

Addressing Barriers to Learning Volume 12, Number 4. Mental Health in Schools: Much More Than Services For a Few (PDF) - This volume includes resources to correct system deficiencies for systems change for school improvement; on how schools can create a welcoming environment and parent and home involvement in schools.

National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care - Culturally and Linguistic standards are primarily directed to make practices more culturally and linguistically accessible. The principles and activities of culturally and linguistically appropriate services should be integrated throughout an organization and undertaken in partnership with the communities being served.

Systems of Care Work for Education (PDF) - Power Point Presentation to support local partnership development of systems of care in schools. Easily adaptable for communities.


PowerPoint Presentations

Anxiety Disorders in Children (PDF) - Overview of anxiety disorders including Social Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-compulsive, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Separation Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Phobia.

Behavior Contracting and Data Monitoring for Classroom Teacher (PDF) - Classroom goals following PBS triangle, universal classroom management system and strategies, STAR Behavior Log, ABC’s of behavior defined, behavioral principles of risk aversion and anchoring, targeted level classroom strategies, talking with students about STAR chart, intensive behavior modification, data based decision making.

Children of Divorce (PDF) - Divorce in the classroom: data, symptoms, adjustment; divorce and diagnosis; grief and loss; regression and progression; latency effect, reactions and needs of children; academics and divorce; teacher issues; legal issues; interventions.

Educating Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the General Education Classroom Elementary Level (PDF) - Diagnostic criteria and differential diagnosis; verbal and non-verbal communication; social interactions; restrictive and repetitive interest based methodologies and educational focus.

Mood Disorders in Children (PDF) - Depression signs and symptoms in the classroom; mania and signs and symptoms in the classroom; interventions, adjustments and accommodations for the classroom; suicidal ideation; warning signs in the classroom and assessment; self-Injury: definition, methods and prevalence' physical and emotional signs; what to do and what not to do; and school and community actions.

Motivating Unmotivated Students (PDF) - Basic beliefs and tenants; emphasize effort; goal sheets and contracts; celebrations and certificates; success: benefits and positive affirmations; student goal setting; mistakes happen; engaging students; PEP Method: Privacy, Eye Contact Proximity; family engagement and relationship building.

Overview of Childhood Mental Health Issues (PDF) - Red flags, warning signs and of common childhood issues.

Understanding Oppositional Defiant Disorder in the School Setting (PDF) - Strategies for Teachers working with students with Oppositional Defiance Disorder: Academic and Behavioral.

For more information, please contact:

Julia Wigert

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