Kristen Pekarek

Better Mental Health = More Successful Students

According to current statistics, fewer than 10 percent of children who identify as needing mental health services get them within three months of the recommendation. This is a startling statistic that proves our mental health system for children is as fragile as the at-risk youth it is intended to serve.

The good news is that a new national conversation is happening around the importance of children's mental health, and a recent report, Improving Access to Children's Mental Health Care: Lessons from a Study of Eleven States, authored by experts from George Washington University's Center for Health and Health Care in Schools and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, highlights ways in which policymakers, advocates, and service providers must work together to elevate children's mental health on the public agenda.

The Center's infographic below presents key findings from the study and other research on the importance of children's mental health. Additionally, ASCD and its Whole Child Partners also provide useful resources on the topic, including the following:

  • Resources on child mental health issues;
  • Archived sessions on health and brain development from the Whole Child Virtual Conference; and
  • Examples of schools that have been successful at tackling mental health issues in their communities.

The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools is a nonpartisan policy and program resource center at George Washington University's School of Public Health and Health Services. The Center's mission is to strengthen the well-being of children and youth through effective health programs and health care services in schools.


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