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Equity Considerations

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“SEL is a universal strategy to build resilience, cultivate protective factors, like strong relationships with peers and adults, and reduce stigma around mental health help-seeking” (CASEL, n.d.). “To apply an equity-focused lens that supports all students experiencing mental distress, a more culturally responsive, integrative, and positive approach should be used in school” (Caroline et al, 2013).

Review the curated resources below to gain insight, get practical ideas, and access resources and recommendations to help you implement strategies that ensure equity and inclusion in your school community.

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Advocacy, Education, and Crisis Support

"Equity consciousness begins with conscious awareness of the innate potential of ALL students for engagement, high intellectual performances, and self-determination."

~Yvette Jackson, Senior Scholar

National Urban Alliance


The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people. Explore the latest articles, resources, and guides they've developed to offer everyone more information around the challenges facing young LGBTQ people.


Publication: Supportive Families, Healthy Children: Helping Families with LGBTQ Children

The Family Acceptance Project developed a family model to increase support, decrease risk, and promote the well-being of LGBTQ children and youth. Download their booklet for basic information designed to help parents and caregivers support LGBTQ children to reduce their risk for depression, suicide, substance abuse, and to promote their well-being.

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Webinar: Affirming Gender Identity in Clinical Practice

Gain a better understanding of the range of gender identities that exist. This webinar, hosted by the New England MHTTC's Early Psychosis Learning Collaborative, offers strategies for providing an open and affirming stance for clients and families to talk about their gender identity, and to help clients to advocate for their needs.


Curricula Options: Behavioral Health Equity

SAMHSA and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) have compiled a list of professional training curricula to improve the health and well-being of the LGBTQ population. 

Review the list of training curricula for behavioral health and primary care practitioners to help them assess, treat, and refer LGBTQ clients in a culturally sensitive manner. 

The New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center’s Childhood-Trauma Learning Collaborative convened a learning session around compassionate school mental health practices and the importance of centering equity consciousness.

Quotes highlighted are from featured session speakers. 

"Equity is providing the support to elicit students’ innate potential through instruction, school policies, and classroom interactions while paying intentional attention to the barriers that restrict students’ innate potential from thriving and flourishing." 

~Yvette Jackson, Senior Scholar

National Urban Alliance

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Training, Coaching, and Technical Assistance

The Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity provides behavioral health practitioners with vital information on supporting the population of people identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, two-spirit, and other diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions. Access resources for strategies within mental health and substance use disorder treatment systems to address disparities effecting LGBTQ+ people across all stages of life.

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Review Trends in Care: Treating LGBTQ Patients, 4 Ways to Address their Needs

Research suggests that LGBTQ+ individuals face health disparities linked to societal stigma, discrimination, and denial of their civil and human rights. "Discrimination against LGBTQ+ populations has been associated with high rates of psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, and suicide" (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2020). Get expert advice and learn more about trends in healthcare practice management, patient relations, and patient care that are helping to reduce stigma and ensure that everyone feels accepted, valued, and welcomed  in healthcare settings.

"Understanding the value of inclusion and equity requires a commitment to accessing the best and most promising practices in the field and then advocating for the implementation of those that best support the shared vision of your learning community."

~Christine Mason, PhD, Advisor New England MHTTC Childhood-Trauma Learning Collaborative 


Child & Adolescent Mental Health ECHO for Native American Youth

The ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) program is designed to improve the treatment of pediatric mental health challenges among Native American youth. ECHO uses technology to facilitate mentoring and knowledge sharing, enabling clinicians to provide best practice care for complex and chronic diseases in their communities.

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This checklist, developed by the National Association of School Psychologists, is intended to heighten the awareness and sensitivity of personnel to the importance of cultural diversity and cultural competence in human service settings. It provides concrete examples of the kinds of values and practices that foster such an environment.

When we’re looking at equity, we have to consider the impact of disparities and how they play out in educational settings. This is an opportunity for us to take a close look at what we need to do to change systems that are perpetuating inequitable outcomes so that they can begin to promote equitable outcomes instead.

~Ann Smith, JD, MBA
Executive Director
AFCAMP Advocacy for Children


Assessing the Social Influences of Health and Education
Embrace Race Action Guide
The Future of Education: Equity, Inclusion, and Racial Justice
Cultivating Cultural Humility in Education
Handbook on Measuring Equity in Education
Is Your State Prioritizing SEAD?
Structural Racism Booklet: Research and Policy Analyses
Georgia Leadership Institute for Leadership SEL Toolkit
The Child Feedback Blog

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