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Take HEART! Spread the word about the importance of comprehensive school-based mental heath services

By Taylor Bryan Turner, Assistant Regional Administrator, SAMHSA Region 1, and Martha Staeheli, PhD, Director, School Mental Health Initiative, New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center

Create a prevention to early intervention treatment continuum through collaborations that offer wraparound mental health supports.

Schools can be the foundation of compassion, community resilience, and encouragement. They are often safe havens, sanctuaries, and sometimes temporary shelters. For some children, schools are the windows of the world. In order to aid children in their growth as leaders and inclusive members of society, we must provide a safe space to nurture mental health and overcome traumatic experiences and learning challenges.

With a deepened awareness of the traumatic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we should all be working to support healing, resilience, and recovery for all, with a particular emphasis on supporting at-risk youth and their families, as well as, school staff who are suffering from burnout and fatigue. Collaborations with healthcare centers as well as community-based organizations, mental and behavioral health agencies, and other youth-serving institutions can help schools deliver enhanced wraparound services that support the mental health and well-being of everyone in the school community.

The Healthcare workers and Educators Addressing and Reducing Trauma (HEART) Collective was convened to enhance collaborations between community health centers and schools to support positive mental health and well-being for youth in school-based settings. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to help youth-serving systems collaborate in ways that support students, families, and staff, with increased awareness, feedback from stakeholders, and buy-in from your school community, you can implement signature programming that promotes wellness.

Be a part of our inaugural celebration! In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, we are excited to introduce you to the Healthcare workers and Educators Addressing and Reducing Trauma (HEART) Collective's #TakeHEART Campaign.

The New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center's School Mental Health Initiative launched HEART Awareness Week to highlight the importance of advocating for and supporting collaborations that improve the mental health, well-being, and resilience of everyone in the school building.

Get Involved

  • Visit the HEART website May 9-13, 2022 for public awareness activities to help you learn more about the impact of childhood trauma.

  • Take time today to educate yourself and others to understand the impact of childhood-trauma.

  • Access our Campaign Toolkit for talking points, infographics, and thank you cards to help you recognize and share the importance of school-based mental health services, and also to honor the stakeholders in your learning community who can help you to vision, plan, and monitor your efforts to build and sustain a compassionate school community.

  • Use #TakeHEART and #TeamworkMakestheDreamWork on social media and help us spread the word about the urgency and importance of comprehensive school-based mental health systems of care and collaborations with youth-serving entities.

Remember, schools are often community hubs and all schools can support children holistically. Take HEART! Support our work to ensure that wraparound mental health services are as easy to access in schools as pencils and highlighters.

For more information on the HEART Collective and the Take HEART Campaign, contact the New England MHTTC’s Education Coordinator Dana Asby.

Learn more about the conveners of the HEART Collective!

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