School-Based Mental Health Services for Students with Disabilities: Urgent Need, Systemic Barriers, and a Proposal
The provision of school-based mental health services (SBMHS) to students with disabilities is inadequate and insufficient. We propose that this failure to provide SBMHS to students with disabilities is due to (a) mental health services not consistently recognized as a related service under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), (b) a failure of the evaluation provisions of IDEA to include the assessment of mental health needs as an area “related to the suspected disability,” and (c) the poorly conceptualized and fragmented existing approach of assessment and provision of SBMHS for students with disabilities. These factors limit access to adequate SBMHS, particularly for students with ASD and EBD who present immediate and significant mental health needs. The purpose of this article is to propose a conceptual model for the assessment of mental health needs and the provision of SBMHS for students with disabilities. We offer several recommendations to promote the provision of SBMHS.
Department of Special Education
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Skaar, Nicole R.; Etscheidt, Susan Larson; and Kraayenbrink, Andrew, "School-Based Mental Health Services for Students with Disabilities: Urgent Need, Systemic Barriers, and a Proposal" (2021). Faculty Publications. 215.