Metropolitan District Tests Various School-Based Mental Health Services

NIJ-funded researchers from RTI International partnered with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina to conduct a randomized controlled trial of two particular types of evidence-based treatments, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and structured psychotherapy for adolescents responding to crisis (SPARC). They focused on evaluating the use of these types of mental health services in schools to help address safety. The study was grouped into three levels, or models of school-based mental health services, depending on the scope of treatment provided.

Their primary goals included implementing DBT and SPARC in schools with the broadest scope of mental health services and identifying differences in well-being and safety among the three levels. They evaluated the cost-effectiveness of the various models. They also worked on developing recommendations for using DBT and SPARC as part of a school-based mental health model.

The assessment of the relative benefits with the broader service levels was mixed. It also highlights challenges with implementing these services consistently.

Portions of this summary are from a full article published by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). The full article and the grantee report it is based on are available here.

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Mental Health


Mental Health Professionals, School Personnel

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