School staff, mental health professionals and the community can learn how to expand support for K-12 students and families experiencing mental and behavioral health issues in a webinar from 10 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, March 15. The webinar is hosted by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the i2i Center for Integrative Health.
"Investing in the whole-person health of our children means doubling down on our investments in local community partnerships between schools, health professionals, community organizations and families," said Charlene Wong, M.D., NCDHHS Assistant Secretary for Children and Families. "Together, we are committed to ensuring every child, K-12 teacher and family in North Carolina has the behavioral health support they need, when they need it."
Participants in the webinar will learn how to support students by creating a system of care, a nationally recognized framework for aligning multiple services that support the health of children and families facing behavioral health challenges. Using the framework, schools, community-based organizations and local health providers can partner more effectively with families on getting behavioral health supports for children and preventing children from experiencing mental health crises.
Participation in the training webinar is open to all K-12 school leaders, mental health professionals and community members interested in learning more about the system of care framework and how it can be used as a resource in their community, in partnership with schools, to support the mental and behavioral health needs of North Carolina children.
Following the webinar training, 12 school districts will receive additional support this spring to convene with their local behavioral health partners and to implement a system of care model for more students. Participating districts for additional support have already been notified and were selected based on expressed interest and community need as part of the 2022-23 StrongSchoolsNC COVID-19 Testing Program. Best practices learned from these school district convenings will be shared via toolkit in summer 2023.
The webinar training and local convenings will be conducted by i2i Center for Integrative Health, a North Carolina non-profit dedicated to building collaborative and evidenced-based initiatives to improve the behavioral health care and support services within a whole-person care model.
The webinar training will be hosted live in English and Spanish via Zoom. Automated captioning will be available.
To be eligible for mental and behavioral health funding opportunities provided through the StrongSchoosNC COVID-19 Testing Program, schools must provide free access to COVID-19 testing for students.