This detailed framework, which may serve as a useful model for school systems across the country, applies Wisconsin’s equitable multi-level system of supports (MLSS) to school mental health. An MLSS is a data-driven, problem-solving framework that utilizes a continuum of evidence-based practices to improve outcomes for all students. It includes universal programming to support all students, early intervention, and intensive interventions for those students who need additional support. Wisconsin’s equitable MLSS includes all students and staff, considers the whole child and system, and focuses on providing equitable services and resources.
Rather than creating a separate system for mental health service delivery, schools can leverage existing structures of their equitable MLSS as it applies to academic and behavioral supports to integrate the six components of comprehensive school mental health system (CSMHS):
1) a continuum of mental health supports
3) needs assessment and resource mapping
4) mental health referral pathways
This document provides an overview of necessary considerations for building and sustaining the six components of a CSMHS to promote mental health for all students and staff.