Addressing students' social and emotional needs: the role of mental health teams in schools

J Health Soc Policy. 2002;16(1-2):109-23. doi: 10.1300/j045v16n01_10.


Children in today's society face many stresses from a variety of sources that have a major impact on thier psychosocial adjustment and academic performance in school. These stressful events and thier consequences on the quality of life and academic success are particularly significant among low-income and ethnic minority students in American society. Many schools have adopted strategies to help students who are impacted by stressful life events to deal affectively with their problems in an attempt to reduce school failure and school dropout rates among these students. Most notable among these strategies are school-based mental health programs including the establishment of school-based mental health teams which seek to proactively address individual student concerns while improving the general climate of schools. The evidence seems to support the claim that these school-based services have a positive impact on students' social and emotional well-being as well as on their academic achievements. However, with more careful monitoring and much more consistent support from administrators and policy makers, these school-based approaches can more fully realize their potential to enhance the quality of life and to positively impact the future of many poor and ethnic minority students.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Patient Care Team*
  • School Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Social Problems
  • Social Support*
  • Social Work, Psychiatric
  • Socialization
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Teaching / methods
  • United States