Saturday, January 14, 2023: 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
Cave Creek, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: School Social Work
Stacy Gherardi, PhD, New Mexico State University
Erika Gergerich, PhD, New Mexico State University, Pamela Gray, PhD, New Mexico State University, Kimberly Knox, PhD, New Mexico State University, Kate Philippo, PhD, Loyola University, Chicago and Emily Shayman, PhD, Lewis University
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a youth mental health crisis that had begun to develop prior to 2020. Grief and loss, pandemic-related stress and isolation, and disruption to vital supports such as schools, all pose significant threats to the mental health of U.S. youth. Increases in mental health-related emergency visits, increased rates of anxiety and depression, and decreased school engagement are well-documented effects of this crisis (School Mental Health Report Card, 2022). These realities have disproportionately impacted communities of color, low-income communities, and the schools that serve them (Fortuna et al., 2020; Jones et al., 2022). The presence of school mental health professionals, school-family-community partnerships, mental health training for teachers and staff, funding for school-based mental health care, mental health screening, and a healthy school climate are critical components of effective school-based solutions to the current youth mental health crisis (School Mental Health Report Card, 2022). Such services are necessarily integrative, requiring that social workers and other school-based professionals engage in interprofessional collaboration (Kern et al, 2021; Raviv et al., 2022). This roundtable will highlight the perspectives and research of a range of scholars working on various aspects of interprofessional approaches to school-based mental health. Their collective insights establish the need for and value of interprofessional approaches to school-based mental health, illuminating approaches to and foundations of such collaboration. This dialogue underscores the imperative to build integrated solutions to youth mental health issues in schools, advancing research and policy in this area. Key contributions of each speaker are described below. Panelist One's research has focused on interprofessional collaboration in healthcare. She explores how schools could benefit from existing models of interprofessional practice currently being used in healthcare and describes approaches to interprofessional education used to support these models. In Panelist Two's previous experience as a school administrator, she initiated a student support services program utilizing a wrap-around model which included an LCSW to provide direct mental health supporting addition to a range of other services and providers. She describes the role of school leaders in ensuring culturally responsive integrated services. Panelist Three explores the need for enhanced interprofessional skills in special education. She highlights central nature of teachers and the imperative for other providers to build collaborative teacher relationships in order to meaningfully engage families and support students. Panelist Four highlights the reality that teachers are student wellness "first responders", although they do not typically receive substantial training in student mental health. Her research affirms teachers' capacity to occupy this role while highlighting the necessity of social workers or other school-based mental health professionals to support teachers' work. Panelist Five describes the School Standpoint Model, which explores how school social workers must recognize, interpret, and intentionally critique their decisions relating to: 1) surrounding social structure, 2) personal identity, and 3) professional role as a school-based social worker. She explores how to "balance the boundaries" of these various domains in multidisciplinary practice within a school setting.
See more of: Roundtables